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Pnnted, in Great Britain "by 






Formerly British Vice-Consul at Kaunas and Vilnius 


First published vn 1922 

(All wghts reserved) 

Great Britain Sy 



IN the following pages I have not attempted to do more 
than scratch the surface of a subject which, for adequate 
treatment, would require several large volumes. My 
main purpose is to arouse interest among English readers 
in a country and people whose glorious past and present 
renascence, under peculiarly moving conditions, are 
surely an earnest of great future achievement in all 
constructive activities. To this end I have tried to 
give a general outline of Lithuanian history, geography, 
economic position and possibilities, present-day political 
problems, cultural characteristics, etc., so that Britishers 
may no longer be able to plead ignorance as an excuse 
for their unfortunately apathetic attitude towards the 
legitimate aspirations of the Lithuanian people. Should 
the reception accorded this modest preliminary essay 
warrant it, I shall gladly hereafter embark upon a more 
exhaustive and ambitious handling of this fascinating 

For much of the material embodied in this book I am 
indebted principally to Stasys Salkauskis' masterly study 
Sur le$ Confins de Deu Mondes, W. St. Vidunas' La 
Lituanie dans le Pa$$& et dans le Prdsent, and Dr. Joseph 
Ehret's Litauen* which have rendered readily accessible 
many facts which otherwise might have eluded com- 

I make no apology for largely employing the Lithu- 
anian spelling of place names. The sooner we adapt 


ourselves to changed conditions the better. But for the 
reader's convenience, I have appended a short glossary 
giving the former Russian and present Lithuanian 
renderings of these centres. 

A hint on pronunciation. The Lithuanian c is pro- 
nounced like our ch in church ; the s like sh in shall ; 
and the z like z in azure. 


March BO, 1922. 






English Ignorance of Lithuania Lithuania's Former Great- 
ness Chaucer's Reference to the Country Early Com- 
mercial Treaty with England Fatal Association with 
Poland The Great War and German Designs Proclama- 
tion of Independence Polish Occupation of Vilnius 
Lithuanian Retreat to Kaunas Refusal of de jwre Recogni- 
tion by the Allies. 


Historic and Ethnographic Lithuania Area and Population 
Vilnius, the National Capital Testimony of Early 
Chroniclers Other Provinces and Cities Palanga on the 
Baltic Coast Prussian Lithuania or Lithuania Minor 
The Port of Memel Configuration of the Land Hills, 
Lakes and Rivers Nature of Soil. 


The Lithuanian People not of Slavonic Origin Lithuanian 
Language one of the Oldest in Europe Allied to Sanscrit 
Aestians or Baits Claim to Grecian Ancestry The Early 
Grand Dukes Struggles with the Teutonic Order Pros- 
perity of the Country under Gediminas, Keistutis and 
Vytautas the Great Extension of Frontiers from the 
Baltic to the Black Sea Beginnings of Polish Influence 
Personal Union with Poland under Jagellon Wars with 
the Tartars Lublin Union with Poland in 1569 Partition 
of Lithuania and Poland at End of XVIIIth Century. 


The Reformation and LithuaniaCorruption of Catholic 
Priesthood and Lithuanian Nobility Oppression of the 
Peasantry Missionaries of New Doctrines Nicolai Radvila, 
the Black-^-Re -introduction of Catholicism Polonization of 
Upper Classes Internecine Strife Extinction of Inde- 


Russification of the Country The Iron Hand of Muraviev 
Attacks on Lithuanian Culture -Closing and Dispersal of 
Vilnius University Substitution of Russian State Religion 
for Catholicism Manifesto of 1863 Prohibiting Lithuanian 
Tongue Ban on Latin Alphabet Victims of Muraviev's 
Rule Abolition of Lithuanian Statute Confusion in Ad- 
ministration of Justice Russian Judges Ignorant of 
Lithuanian Russian Confiscations of Lithuanian Lands- 
Wholesale Emigration. 





Neo-Lithuanian Movement Secret Associations Literary, 
Cultural and Political Activity The Work of Basana- 
vi&us Smuggling of Lithuanian Books and Magazines 
into Country Decline of Polish Influence and Rehabilitation 
of Lithuanian Speech Effect of Russo-Japanese War on 
Liberation Movement Russian Revolution of 1905 
Labours of Lithuanian Patriots The Vilnius Memorandum 
Congress of Vilnius Historic Resolution Russian Reaction 
Development of Lithuanian Schools and Societies Rise 
of National Press Art and Literature Economic Revival. 


Lithuania as Battleground Her Contribution to Allied 
Victory Hostile Devastation of Country Fall of Kaunas 
and Vilnius The Land a Desert in the Wake of the War 
Ravages of Disease Deplorable Lot of Lithuanian Civil 
and Military Prisoners Dispersal of Entire Families 
Organization of Relief German Military Occupation 
Efforts at Germanization Ober-Ost Administration. 


Share of American-Lithuanians in National Movement 
Congress of Chicago Declares for Self-Determination 
Bureau of Information Established in Paris First Berne 
Conference in 1915 Demand for Independence Raised in 
Russian Duma Congress at Lausanne Second Berne 
Conference Declares for Independence Other Notable 
Gatherings Conference of St. Petersburg Diet of Vilnius 
in 1917 Election of National Council Third Berne Con- 
ference Recognition of Taryba as Lithuanian Constitu- 
tional Organ Two Declarations of Independence Stern 
Resistance to German Intrigues Effect of Allied Victory 
Appointment of Provisional Government War against 
Bolsheviks Polish Occupation of Vilnius m April 1919 
Intervention of Supreme Council and Establishment of 
Demarcation Line Election of Constituent Assembly 
Lithuanian Political Parties Lithuanian People Essen* 
tially Non-Bolshevik. 


Personal Observation of Polish Designs British Commission 
for the Baltic Provinces Branch Established at Kaunas 
under Colonel R. B. Ward Author Appointed British 
Vice-Consul Views of Former British Military Attache 1 on 
Polish " PruBsianism " Russo-Lithuaman Peace Treaty of 
July 12, 1920 Russo-Polish War and Lithuanian Neutrality 
Polish Evacuation of Vilnius and Invitation to Lithuanians 
to Occupy City Polish Treachery Reds take Vilnius 
Lithuanians Enter City Transfer of Lithuanian Govern- 
ment to Vilnius Conclusion of Suvalki Agreement and its 
Immediate Infringement Colonel Ward's Aerial Visit to 
Warsaw and Polish Assurances Polish Offensive against 



Vilnius and Ea-occupation of same, October 9, 1920 
Flight to Kaunas Author's Return to Vilnius and Observa- 
tion of Polish Methods Complicity of Warsaw Government 
in the Zeligowski Coup Depositions of Polish Officers 
Intervention of League of Nations in Polish-Lithuanian 
Dispute Causes of League's Failure to Achieve a Settle- 
ment Termination of League's Intervention Polish Viola- 
tion of Four Demarcation Lines The Unlawful Vilnius 
Elections Polish Pogroms of Lithuanian Institutions in 
Vilnius Lithuania Penalized for Sins of Poland Denial 
of de jure Recognition AUied Failure to Settle Polish 
Frontiers Largely Responsible for Situation. 


Defeat of the Borussians and their Gradual Germamzation 
Teutonic Knights oppose Lithuanian Advance to the Sea 
Memel District Ratio of Germans and Lithuanians Memel 
economically dependent upon Lithuanian Hinterland 
Allied Declaration of Predominantly Lithuanian Character 
of Memel Region Memel Port Lithuania's Sole Sea Outlet 
Provisional French Administration of the District for 
Supreme Council Franco-Polish Designs to Prevent Memel's 
Reversion to Lithuania. 


Country's Favoured Position Government's Abstention 
from Issue of New Currency Collapse of German Mark 
Reacts to Country's Detriment Lithuania Primarily an 
Agricultural Land Racial Percentages Agricultural Yields 
Before and After War Capacity for Further Expansion 
Dairy-farming and Stock-raising Current Prices often Lower 
than Pre-War Tendency towards Small and Medium 
Farming Lithuania's Timber Resources Heavy Post- 
bellum Demands Need for Remedial Measures Agrarian 
Reform Grants to Soldiers Comparatively Mild Incidence 
of Law with Recognition of Principle of Compensation 
Lithuanian Industries Trade Figures National Finances 
Credit Associations, Banks and Cooperatives Lithuanian 
Railways and Waterways Government's Economic Policy 
Legal Reform. 


Appreciations of Foreign Observers Sexual Purity a 
Notable Trait Meeting of East and West on Lithuanian 
Soil Latent Capacity for Tremendous Effort Physical 
Aspects Lithuanian Love of Nature Democratic Senti- 
ment Belief in Religion Lithuanian Superstitions often 
Pagan Survivals. 


Description of Lithuanian Farm Ubiquity of the Cross in 
Lithuanian Countryside National Dress The "Juosta" 
Worn by Women Lithuanian Love of Song Some Mamage 
Customs Rue as the Emblem of Purity. 




Its Indo-European Origin Lithuanians the Last to abandon 
Paganism Ancient Sacerdotal Caste not Unlike that of 
Brahmins or Dnuds Its Influence in both Kehgious and 
Social Life The Vestal Virgins Fire Worship Practised at 
Vilnius Perkunas or God of Thunder Myths of Sun and 
Moon Natural Phenomena Objects of Adoration " Sventa 
Ugms " or Sacred Fire Lithuanian Love of Symbolism 
survives Paganism Belief in Metempsychosis Legends of 
Giants Interpretation of Dreams. 


Lithuanian Tongue part of Aestian or Baltic Linguistic 
Branch At One Time Identical with Lettish The Two 
Main Dialects Resemblance to Greek and Latin National 
Existence Bound Up with Native Speech Special Use of 
Participle The Genitive Attributive Lithuanian uniquely 
Rich in Diminutive and Caressive Forms German Study 
of Lithuanian Poetry in Eighteenth Century Lessing and 
Herder The " Dainos " or Chansonettes Belles Lettrea 
Proper Duonelaitis, Mickiewicz and Vidunas Drama 
encouraged by the Jesuits Modern Literary Revival. 

XVI. AET AND MUSIC . . . . .185 

The Work of Ciurlionis His Fame in Russia and on the 
Continent Antanas Zmuidzinavi&us Tho Sculptors Rimla 
and Zikaras Modern Artists from the People Peasant 
Handicrafts Lithuanian Ecclesiastical Architecture 
Churches of Vilnius National Love of Music Popular 
Chants Reveal Greek Origin Homer's Hymn to Demetrius 
The Brothers Petrauskas Simkus, Braiys and Naujahs 
Some Native Musical Instruments Lithuanian National 


Author's Early Association with Lithuanians Journey 
by Motor-Lorry from Riga to Kaunas in Summer of 1919 
A Night at Radzivihshki Author Arrested by German 
Soldiery Meeting with Colonel Robinson and the German 
Airman Rother at Keidany Story of Rother's Dramatic 
Rescue of Enver Pasha Author's Entry into Kaunas City 
under Martial Law owing to Discovery of Polish Plot 
Life in Kaunas Author's Visits to Vilnius Impression of 
the Poles The Bolshevik Regime Other Aeroplane Inci- 
dents Von Platen and his Russian Wife Lithuanian 
Leaders Some Political Reflections in Conclusion. 


INDEX 225 









KAUNAS UNIVERSITY . . . . . .92 


ON THE FRONT ....... 100 


























Virzhbolovo (Wirballen) 


Lithuania Past and Present 


MY own experience is that, if we except certain business 
circles which before the war engaged in trade with the 
Baltic and to-day are making somewhat halfhearted 
attempts to resume these relations with the independent 
States that have succeeded to the old Russian regime 
in that part of the world, very few persons in England 
know anything at all about Lithuania. Spelling the name 
in syllables accomplishes little in the face of an abysmal 
ignorance extending to the very geography of the country. 
This unfortunate apathy goes to prove how very super- 
ficially the average citizen reads his daily paper, because 
for months past there have been repeated press references, 
long and short, to the Polish-Lithuanian dispute and the 
futile efforts of the League of Nations to settle it at 
Brussels and Geneva. 

And yet at the end of the XlVth and the beginning 
of the XVth century Lithuania was the most formidable 
Power in the North, and the boundaries of this compact 
State extended from the Baltic to the Black Sea. On one 
occasion Moscow was almost taken by Algird, who spared 
it only in deference to the prayers of the Grand Duke 
Demetrius, thus unconsciously and naively revealing the 
boundless gulf which separates the simple barbarous 
mentality of that age from our own vastly superior 
conception of what is due to a military victor. The 
devastated regions of Northern France and East Prussia 
show conclusively how far we have advanced along the 


road of civilization since those primitive days. Few 
are probably aware that this period of Lithuanian power 
has found a place in English literature. In the Canterbury 
Tales Chaucer sends a brave English knight to that country, 
and in this connexion it is interesting to note that Chaucer 
calls Lithuania " Leetuwe " (Lietuva), which is the 
Lithuanian word for Lithuania, the latter being used 
only abroad. Historians also relate that in the XlVth 
century Keistut, or Keistutis, the ruler of Lithuania,, 
signed a commercial treaty with England. In Rymer's 
Fcedera there is also a document of Queen Elizabeth, 
written in 1560, giving a licence to, a^Lithwanian in the 
following terms : 

He by Himself, his Servants, or Factors, maye or shall brynge 
in this our Realme of England withm the space of one Monethe 
next hereafter following Thyrtie Tymber of Sabels and a Carkamet 
of Gold sett with Divers Pearles and pretiouse Stones without 
payinge Custome or Subsidie for the same 

Lithuania has passed through many vicissitudes since 
that spacious epoch. Her disastrous association with 
Poland, of which more will be said elsewhere, involved 
her in the downfall of the latter in the XVIIIth century 
when the whole of Lithuania was attached to Russia 
by the sole right of conquest. 

* Although the Great War hit Lithuania hard and for 
a season led to the substitution of Teutonic tyranny 
for that of the Muscovite, its ultimate outcome proved 
on the whole favourable to Lithuanian national aspirations, 
which never ceased to be cherished in secret even during 
the darkest days of Russian and Polish oppression* 
During their period of military occupation, from 1915-18, 
the Germans tried in every way to suppress the national 
movement. They prohibited the publication of Lithuanian 
newspapers and threw the national leaders into jail. 
The object of the German Government was clearly to 
make Lithuania an integral part of Germany, but these 
efforts encountered a resistance which proved to be 
insuperable. Finally Lithuania succeeded in obtaining 
to call a convention at Vilnius in September 


1917. This convention elected a State Council or Taryba, 
which on February 16, 1918, solemnly proclaimed the 
independence of the country. This day the young 
Republic annually celebrates as Independence Day. 

After this came with bewildering swiftness the Allied 
victory, the German revolution, and the Bolshevik advance, 
which latter compelled the Lithuanian Government to 
withdraw from Vilnius to Kaunas, whence the defence 
of the country was energetically directed. The Bolshevik 
advance was checked at Koshedary, and the Lithuanians 
would again have entered Vilnius if they had not been 
deliberately forestalled by the Poles, who advanced from 
the south-east and occupied the city. The Polish occupa- 
tion of Vilnius on this occasion lasted till July 1920, 
when the Polish defeat at the hands of the Soviet armies 
necessitated its abandonment, and tL.e Lithuanian Govern* 
ment re-entered into possession. 

Under the Suvalki Agreement, signed ~ between the 
two States on October 7, 1920, Poland recognized the 
right of Lithuania to provisional administration of Vilnius 
and its territory, but this trifling fact in no way prevented 
her from flagrantly violating the agreement two days 
later, when the notorious General Zehgowski recaptured 
the Lithuanian capital. Thus the Lithuanian Government 
was again obliged to remove to Kaunas, and pending a 
settlement of the Vilnius question the affairs of the 
country are still directed from this temporary capital. 

According to the Russo-Lithuanian Peace Treaty, 
concluded on July 12, 1920, Lithuania comprises an 
area of approximately 82,000 square kilometres (approxi- 
mately 32,000 square miles), and the three governments 
of the former Russian Empire, Suvalki (Suvalkai), Kovno, 
(Kaunas) and Vilna (Vilnius), which is the ethnographical 
territory of the original Lithuanian Grand Duchy, and 
in past centuries was always recognized by both Poles 
and Russians as ethnographical Lithuania or Lithuania 
Proper. The population of this area numbers over 
4,200,000, of which about 75 per cent, are Lithuanians 
by race and tongue, the rest being Jews, White Russians, 
Poles and others. Owing, however, to the loss of the 



Vilnius region through the force majeure of Polish filibuster- 
ing, the population actually under the jurisdiction of 
the Lithuanian Government at the time of writing is 
not probably much in excess of two millions, of which 
fewer than 3 per cent are Poles. 

This, then, in brief, is the State which ever since the 
election of a Constituent Assembly, or Seim, in April 
1920, by universal, direct, and secret suffrage, according 
to the system of proportional representation, has vainly 
sought for de jure recognition from the Allies, though 
this recognition has been granted by almost every other 
neutral country and former enemy state, large and small. 1 

Into the motives which have hitherto dictated so 
conservative a policy I propose to enquire later on in 
these pages. Moreover, I make no sort of apology for 
doing this frankly as a partizan. No man of spirit with 
any firsthand knowledge of the facts, such as I possess, 
could be otherwise. It was my inestimable privilege 
to live through the makings of history in the Baltic from 
the summer of 1919 to the winter of 1921, for the last 
fourteen or fifteen months of that period as British Vice- 
Consul at Kaunas, and for an all-too-brief interval at 
Vilnius, in which capacity I enjoyed unique opportunities 
of acquainting myself with the true inwardness of the 
situation. What at the outset was an objective investi- 
gation led me by inevitable stages to wholesale con- 
demnation of the Poles and their post-bellum policy. 
Only an invertebrate degenerate could remain on the 
fence in such a quarrel. As a partizan, therefore, it 
shall be my special aim in the proper place to make 
as many other converts as possible by giving in some 
detail the reasons which in my own case proved so 

But before coming to that essentially controversial 
phase of my subject, I wish to excite public interest in 

1 Since these lines were written, the United States Government has 
granted unconditional de ^wre recognition to Lithuania. On July 13, 
1922* the Ambassadors' Council in Pans offered de gure recognition on 
condition that Lithuania should consent to internationalization of the 
Niemen Kiver. The Lithuanian Government accepted this condition 
in due course, and is therefore presumably recognized 


other aspects of the Lithuanian problem, historic, geo- 
graphical, sociological, aesthetic and cultural. Thus I 
hope to be the medium of removing from many British 
minds the reproach of ignorance of a country and a 
people with quite exceptional claims to our sympathy 
and support, not alone on grounds of international justice 
but equally on those of national expediency and self* 
interest. Indeed it is only to our proverbial middle-class 
and proletarian provincialism and indifference to foreign 
affairs, even when the latter have a vital bearing upon 
our destinies, that I can ascribe a popular attitude which 
has for so long tolerated Franco-Polish intrigues at our 
expense, and equally the very questionable laissez-faire 
policy of Great Britain herself in this regard. 

If my own modest contribution to this branch of East 
European history helps, in however limited a degree, to 
disperse these clouds of ignorance and perhaps to galvanize 
the deadened national conscience into tardy recognition 
of its responsibilities, I shall not have laboured in vam* 


IN any description of Lithuania we must distinguish 
carefully between the historic and ethnographic Lithuanias. 
What is called historic Lithuania or the Grand Duchy 
of Lithuania, comprises the territories of the former Russian 
governments of Vilna, Kovno, Grodno, Suvalki, Kurland, 
Minsk, Mohilev, and Vitebsk. During several centuries 
they formed, under the style of Lithuania, a political unit. 
When, therefore, we speak of old Lithuania up to the end of 
the XVIIIth century we mean this group of governments, 
which were not inhabited exclusively by Lithuanians 
but included various foreign ethnic elements which had 
been wholly absorbed in the energetic expansion of the 
Lithuanian State and passed under its dominion. 

Ethnographic Lithuania, on the other hand, includes 
the old Russian governments of Vilna, Kovno, Suvalki, 
part of Grodno, and a small portion of the government of 
Minsk (Novogrodek). It embraces also the northern 
part of East Prussia with the districts of Memel, Tilsit, 
Heydekrug, Niederung, Ragnit, Pillkallen, Labiau, certain 
parts of Insterberg, Gumbinnen, Stalluponen, and 
Goldapp. The former Lithuanian territory is called 
Lithuania Major and the German territory Lithuania 

If we include the Vilnius territory as an integral por* 
tion of ethnographic Lithuania and also the Memel district, 
at present administered by the French for the Supreme 
Council, we get an area of over 30,000 square miles, and 
a population which, in 1914, was estimated at 4,845,000- 
Thus in area and population Lithuania is larger than 
Belgium, the Netherlands. Denmark or Switzerland, 


A large majority are of Lithuanian blood and speech. 
While much controversy has raged round this question, 
a fair estimate of the relative percentages appears to be 
Lithuanians about 75 per cent. ; Jews about 10 per cent. ; 
Polish-speaking element about 8 per cent, (for the entire 
district) ; Russians, White Russians and other nationalities 
7 per cent. The population of the larger cities is approxi- 
mately : Vilnius 214,600 ; Kaunas 90,300 ; Gardinas 61,600 ; 
Memel 32,000 ; Suvalkai 31,600 ; Siauliai 31,800. These 
figures have been subjected to considerable modifications 
by the war. The present population of Kaunas, for 
example, owing to the tremendous influx of refugees 
from Vilnius and district in the wake of the Polish occupa- 
tion is not far short of 120,000. The rural population 
constitutes 86-2 per cent, of the whole, indicating that 
Lithuania is essentially an agricultural country. 

The Lithuanian province of Vilnius has a superficies 
of 42,500 kilometres, i.e. approximately the size of Switzer- 
land. On the north it touches the province of Kaunas 
and the Vitebsk government ; on the east Vitebsk and 
Minsk ; on the south Minsk and the province of Gardinas ; 
on the west Suvalkai. It constitutes a plain traversed 
by a chain of hills. In view of the dearth of other means 
of communication the numerous rivers possess great 
importance. More than four hundred lakes cover 10 per 
cent, of the total surface, and lakes and rivers are sur- 
rounded by swamps. In the Trakai (Troki) district 
one marsh has a circumference of 85 kilometres. This 
province is divided into seven departments named after 
their respective capitals, viz. Vilnius, Trakai (Troki), 
Lyda, Sventionis (Svenciany), Vileika, Asmena and 

The capital of the province and of the entire country 
is Vilnius, situated at the confluence of the Vilijajand 
Vileika, at the foot of Mt. Gedimijias, the name of the 
founder of the city. Before the war^ilna, as the Russians 
called it, was the capital of the General Government 
of the same name and was an important railway and 
coinmerical centre with a big trade in timber and cattle. 
Baedeker mei*tioi*s that the history of the city stretches 


back to the earliest times, when it was a great centre of 
Pagan worship. A sacred fire was kept constantly burning 
at the foot of the hill upon which Gediminas (Gedymin), 
Grand Duke of Lithuania, built his castle when he founded 
the city in the XlVth century. In 1323 Vilnius was raised 
to the dignity of a town and was made the capital of 
Lithuania. The Grand Duke Ladislas Jagellon, who 
became King of Poland in 1386, introduced Christianity 
in 1387 and erected the cathedral of St. Stanislaus on 
the site of the heathen temple. Vilnius is afterwards 
often mentioned in the history of the struggles of the 
Lithuanians with the Teutonic Order, the Tartars, and 
the Russian Grand Dukes. During the XVIIth and 
XVIIIth centuries Vilnius was frequently pillaged by the 
Swedes, Russians, and Cossacks, and lost much of its 
former importance. In 1794 it offered a gallant resistance 
to the Russian army, but was captured on August 12th 
after a severe bombardment. At the opening of the 
war of 1812 Napoleon fixed upon the line of the Niemen 
as his base of operations and made Vilnius (at the point of 
intersection of the roads from Konigsberg and Warsaw 
to St. Petersburg and Moscow) the strategic centre of 
the French line. On his retreat from Russia he again 
visited Vilnius, which he finally left in disguise on the 
night of November 24 (New Style December 6), 1812. 

Vilnius^ public edifices, her churches, and the memories 
which they enshrine, the palaces of the Lithuanian 
aristocracy, all have a great historical and national 
signification for Lithuania, and are the fruit of the work 
of many centuries, whose toil was accomplished under 
the hard conditions of bondage. Vilnius's other buildings 
are due to the work of the local labouring classes, composed 
for the most part of Lithuanian Jews. During the period 
of the Muscovite rule, the public edifices were constructed 
at the expense of the Russian Empire ; but one seeks 
in vain for any evidence of such work by the Polish 

During a period of over four and a half centuries 
Vilnius was the capital of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania, 
who were her national rulers. The capital of a State 


which 'in addition to the Lithuanian land properly so- 
called embraced vast Slavo-Russian territories, Vilnius, 
thanks to the autonomous rule of government which 
these latter enjoyed, served especially as the centre of 
ethnographical Lithuania (Lithuania Proper), which was 
composed of the principality of Samogitia and of the 
two palatinates of Vilnius and Trakai. The Government, 
* the legislative and judicial administrations, constituted 
in the domain of Vilnius an indivisible whole, which was 
separated from the Slavonic regions of the Grand Duchy. 
Even after the Russian annexation, Lithuania Proper 
formed an administrative unit, composed of the three 
governments of Vilnius, Kaunas, and Gardinas, and 
designated under the general name of the " North- 
Western Country," with Vilnius as its capital, the seat 
of the central institutions of the whole land and the 
residence of the Governor-General. 

Vilnius was the intellectual, artistic and religious 
centre of Lithuania, whose influence on the scientific 
and artistic development of Poland was considerable. 
However, even at that epoch, when the Polish language 
took the place of the Latin tongue, the University of 
Vilnius never lost its character as the home of Lithuanian 

During the whole of her existence as a sovereign State, 
and later, at the time of her struggle for independence, 
Lithuania, with Vilnius at her head, constantly asserted 
and defended with an untiring energy her real nationality 
and her right to absolute independence. In the same 
way, the unions with Poland were never an expression 
of free-will on the part of Lithuania but of combinations 
imposed on the country by Poland, who profited by the 
difficult situation of the Grand Duchy* The Union of 
Lublin* in 1569, was a striking example of this policy. 
It was at Vilnius, at the time of the Russian dominion, 
that Lithuania experienced the most cruel losses in her 
struggle for liberty, and this city is the centre of the 
political and intellectual revival of Lithuania at the present 
In view of the efforts made by the Polish delegation 


at Brussels and Geneva before the Council of the League 
of Nations, in 1921, to disprove the Lithuanian origin 
of the Lithuanian capital Vilnius, it is interesting to 
recall that one of the oldest Polish chroniclers, i.e. 
Mathew Miechovita, himself states that the Lithuanians 
founded Vilnius (" hiprimum condiderunt oppidum Vilno "). 
Miechovita even mentions a Duke Vilis (dux Vilis) who 
transported Lithuanians into that region and founded 
the city which from this Duke received the name of 
Vilnius. The Grand Duke Gediminas having transferred 
his capital thither assuredly maintained a Lithuanian 
garrison, as in the case of all ducal courts. There is 
no cause to doubt that at that time the inhabitants of 
Vilnius were Lithuanians, although there is no direct 
evidence available as to their precise nationality* The 
names of the children of both the Dukes Gediminas and 
Algirdas, as well as those of others, are Lithuanian of 
those times. Under Algirdas the nobles of his court 
Kiklis or Kuklejus, Miklis or Miklejus, and Niezila gained 
fame through their acceptance of the Orthodox faith 
about 1347 and their sufferings on that account at the 
hands of the Pagan Lithuanians. Even to-day they are 
revered as saints in the Orthodox Church under the style 
of Joannas, Antonius and Eustachius. 

We have clear information about the nationality of 
the inhabitants of the town at the time of the introduction 
of Christianity into Vilnius by Jagellon in 1 $87. According 
to the testimony of J. Dlugosius (1415-80) Vilnius was 
then the capital of the Lithuanian nation (caput et 
metropolis gentis) and here the Lithuanians were baptized. 
Miechovita (1476-1523), M. Stryjkowskis and A. Guagnmi, 
writing about the introduction of Christianity into Vilnius, 
say that the sacred eternal fires of the Pagan Lithuanians 
were then extinguished, their idols destroyed, the sacred 
monads levelled, and 30,000 Lithuanians baptized. More- 
over, as the Polish priests could not speak Lithuanian, 
the Lithuanian Grand Duke Jagellon himself explained 
their sermons to the baptized people. It appears from 
this that then the inhabitants of Vilnius, who were baptized 
en masse, were Lithuanians. That in the XlVth century 


the inhabitants of Vilnius were Lithuanians we know 
from other evidence, i.e. Count Kyburg, who, during 
the reign of Vytautas the Great, visited the latter in the 
summer of 1397 on a political mission, and testifies that 
the prevailing language in the palace and among the 
people themselves was Lithuanian, though already there 
were White Russians, Germans and Poles among the 
inhabitants. At a later epoch also the Lithuanian speech 
was used and esteemed in the Grand-Ducal palace at 
Vilnius. For example, Stryjkowskis clearly testifies that 
when on the death of the Grand Duke Zigmantas at 
Trakai castle in 1440 the Lithuanian nobles nominated 
Jagellon's son, Kazimieras, to be ruler of the country, 
the latter, who was born at Cracow, did not know Lithuanian 
and was therefore taught the language on his removal to 

From writers of the XVth and XVIth centuries who 
travelled in Lithuania and visited Vilnius, such as Guille- 
bert de Lannoy (1413-14) and Baron Herberstein 
(1517-26), we have mention of Vilnius, but no information 
about its inhabitants or their language. Guagnini 
(1538-1614) in his work Sarmatice Europea descriptio, 
briefly describes Vilnius, but is also silent about the 
nationality of its inhabitants. The Italian writer Jonas 
Boterius Benesius, whose work was translated into Polish 
and published at Cracow in 1659, superficially describes 
the Lithuanian ^people, and when mentioning Vilnius 
does not differentiate its inhabitants from other residents 
of the country who were Lithuanian. 

It is a fact that as late as 1737 the Jesuits at St. John's 
Cathedral maintained preachers in Lithuanian, and it 
was only from that time that the Polomzation of the 
Lithuanian inhabitants of Vilnius proceeded more rapidly 
till the majority lost their nationality. But even though 
denationalized the popular masses long retained the con- 
sciousness of their Lithuanian origin, as can be seen from 
the evidence of Father Hilarionas Karpinskis and M. 
Bahnskis. The former of these writers, in his work 
Lexykon geograficzny (Wilno 1766, p. 602), speaks of the 
population, numbering 60,000, as Lithuanian and German, 


and that besides Catholics there were Orthodox, Lutherans 
Calvinists and Jews, even Mohammedan Tartars, whc 
had a mosque there. Balinskis in his work Pisanii 
statystyczne miasto Wilna (Wilno 1835), when describing 
the inhabitants of the city, makes no mention at all oi 
Poles among them. He says only, " The inhabitants ol 
the city of Vilnius are in their origin Lithuanians, Russians, 
Germans and Jews. There are so few inhabitants of othei 
nationalities that in this respect they cannot make any 

The town of Lyda with its 20,000 inhabitants (seventy 
kilometres south of the capital) still possesses some 
importance. From a historic standpoint the town of 
Trakai (Troki), twenty-five kilometres south of Vilnius, 
' on" the shore of the lake of the same name, offers some 
interest. Trakai Lake is dotted with several islets, on 
one of which may be seen the ruins of the ship Konigsberg 
built by Keistutis, in which Vytautas the Great saw 
something of the world. Trakai, the capital of the 
Palatinate, formerly enjoyed great importance. Later 
its development was arrested and to-day it is only a small 
district town. On the upper course of the Vilija may be 
seen the chateau or castle of Verkai, where formerly the 
bishops of Vilnius resided during the summer months. 
To-day it is abandoned. At Birstonas are celebrated 
sulphur springs. Rqdune has won an unenviable reputa- 
tion as the scene of many conflicts with the Russians. 

Forty per cent, of the total surface of this province is 
cultivated ; 19 per cent, consists of pasturage and meadow ; 
28 per cent, of forests ; and nearly 11 per cent, of unculti- 
vated lands. The peasants of this region experience no 
little difficulty in drawing subsistence from the sandy soil, 
being in this respect worse off than the peasants of 
Suvalkai who, farther to the west, are better able to obtain 
necessary auxiliaries to agriculture. 

The province of Kaunas, covering an area of 40,640 
square kilometres, is thus almost equal to Vilnius in size. 
In the west it includes Samogitia ; to the north it is 
bounded by Kurland ; to the east by Vitebsk ; to the 
south bv Vilnius aud Suvalkai ; to the south-west by 


Lithuania Minor. It forms a slightly undulating plain 
with an altitude a little over 150 metres. Only in the 
west are there any elevations, viz. the so-called mountains 
of Satrija, Girgzduta, Medvegalis, etc. Among the navig- 
able rivers are the Nemunas (Niemen), Vihja and Venta. 
Lakes are also very numerous, the district of Zarasai 
alone possessing four hundred of them. As in the province 
of Vilnius swamps hinder communication. The great 
swamp of Remygala, near Panevezis (Ponievezh), covers 
136 square kilometres. 

This province, like Vilnius, has seven districts, viz. 
Kaunas, Telsiai, Siauliai (Shavli), Raseiniai (Rossieny), 
Panevezis (Ponievezh), Zarasai and Ukmerge (Vilkomir). 
Kaunas, the capital, is situated at the confluence of the 
Vilrja and Nemunas, and before the war had between 
ninety thousand and a hundred thousand inhabitants 
but to-day is even more densely populated. In this 
neighbourhood the banks of the Nemunas often rise to 
a height of two hundred feet and are very picturesque. 
Before the war Kaunas was regarded as a first-class 
fortress, but this reputation was speedily exploded by 
the German assailants who reduced it in a few days, 
though treachery is supposed to have played an appreciable 
r61e in this result. It is supposed that the town was 
founded in the XHIth century. In the XlVth century 
it had already become a great bone of contention between 
the Lithuanians and the Teutonic Knights. At the time 
of the so-called " personal " union between Poland and 
Lithuania, when Jagellon became king of the former 
country, Kaunas began to serve as a centre for the export 
trade from Poland and Lithuania to Russia. An English 
trading factory was established here. In 1655 Kaunas 
was plundered and burned down by a Russian army 
under Tsar Alexis. At the Third Partition of Poland 
in 1795 it was finally annexed to the Russian Empire. 
On June 23, 1812, the French army reached the left 
bank of the Nen^unas, opposite Kaunas, and a hill near 
the village of Ponyemon is still known as Napoleon's 
Hill. Kaunas is the residence of the Bishop of Samogitia 
and his chapter arid also of the Lutheran Provost of 


the Vilnius diocese. The Church of the Franciscans 
dates from the epoch of Vytautas the Great. The most 
remarkable of the Catholic churches is that of the Jesuits, 
which was built by Italians. The Jews, who are also 
numerous in Kaunas, possess four synagogues. The 
library of the Catholic seminary contains many very 
valuable manuscripts. Before the war Kaunas was well- 
known for its industries, one of the biggest iron foundries 
in Russia, that of Tillmann, doing a big business. 

At Raseinial, a town of ten thousand inhabitants, the 
Diet of Samogitia formerly assembled. Kedainiai possesses 
a large Protestant church constructed in 1629 by the 
magnate Radvila, and it shelters the tomb of this princely 
house. The mortal remains of the Lithuanian historian 
Daukantas repose at Papile. The Radvila family at 
one time had their residence at Kraziai, where there is 
to-day a well-known monastery. The Lithuanian poet 
Sarbiewski used to pursue his literary studies at the Jesuit 
college of this town, while at one time the Jesuit church 
possessed, according to report, Leonardo da Vinci's 
" Ascension." 

Plung6, the home of the Princes Oginski, is the Lithuanian 
Jerusalem, the Jewish population being very large. On 
the banks of the Nemunas is the ancient fortress of Veliona, 
before which Gediminas died in 1341, Sidlava, in Samo- 
gitia, is a place of frequent pilgrimage, as also Kalvarija, 
which h$s a Calvary constructed on the model of the 
original at Jerusalem. The Birzai locality is known in 
history as the principal scene of Lithuanian opposition 
to Roman Catholicism and the headquarters of the 
Lithuanian Protestant Prince Nicolas Radvila the Black. 

Under the Simpson boundary award between Latvia 
and Lithuania, the latter has acquired the watering- 
place Palanga on the Baltic, with valuable medicinal 
springs, and is considering plans for its development, 
together with Sventoji at the mouth of the river of that 
name, into an ocean port. There is indeed quite a mass 
of historical evidence available to show that there were 
in former years deep-sea harbours at both these places. 
During the Xlllth century, the Crusaders having taken 




Prussia and the Knights of the Sword Latvia, the towns 
of Konigsberg, Rusnis, Klaipeda (Memel) and Riga, 
which then belonged to the Germans, tried to seize the 
entire trade of Lithuania together with that of other 
regions. The Lithuanian Grand Dukes, on the other 
hand, did their best to thwart these schemes and to 
liberate Lithuanian trade from the German yoke. With 
this object, for example, Keistutis in 1342 concluded a 
commercial treaty with England. The trade of Lithuania 
at that time, in all probability, was conducted via Palanga 
or Sventoji. At any rate Vytautas the Great, wishing 
to open * 6 a window into Europe " which should not be 
dependent upon Germany, restored those ports. It 
must therefore be supposed that they were situated very 
much where the present Palanga and Sventoji are to-day. 
Later, apparently, they were abandoned. The trade of 
Palanga-Sventoji even during the time of Vytautas had 
begun to decline. Lithuania having strengthened and 
improved her relations with Prussia and the Latvian 
Germans had revived the trade via the Nemunas and 
Dauguva (Dvina). 

In the XVth century we find further information 
about Palanga port. From the XVIth to the XVIIth 
century the independent trade of Lithuania rose. Dutch 
and British vessels lay in Lithuanian harbours. In 
1603 Sventoji still appears on a map of Lithuania 
published by command and at the expense of Radvila. 
From the XVIth to the XVIIth century, however, war 
and disorder detrimentally affected Lithuanian trade. 
According to one account it was in 1625 that the Swedish 
king Gustavus Adolphus, and according to another in 
1701 that Charles XII, also of Sweden, at the instance 
of the Riga merchants, filled up Sventoji harbour with 
stones which were transported in nine vessels. There 
is information extant that in 1685 an English merchant 
named Horst opened his office at Sventoji. It is probable 
that the Swedes twice destroyed Sventoji port and that 
Lithuania restored it. 

In the second half of the XVIIIth century the representa- 
tive of Lithuania and Poland* Bukaty, in negotiation with 


England on behalf of his Government, promised to restore 
Sventoji harbour ; but as Lithuania dreaded foreign 
domination this project came to nought. The father 
of the present owner of Palanga, Tiskevicius, with the 
object of restoring the trade of Palanga, built a long 
pier alongside which his own and other vessels used to 
moor, but trade did not develop. 

Now that the Lithuanian State has been recreated 
the importance of Palanga as a port will perhaps again 
be revived. 

From an economic standpoint Siauliai was formerly 
of considerable importance and should again become 
so, since it possesses some of the largest tanneries in 
the world and several confectionery factories. 

Of the total provincial area 38 per cent, is under cultiva- 
tion, 27 per cent, consists of meadows and pasture, 
24 per cent, of forests, and 11 per cent, of marshes and 
uncultivated land. Lakes cover a surface of 400 square 

Suvalkai province, with only 12,300 square kilometres, 
is appreciably smaller than the other Lithuanian provinces. 
It is bounded on the north by Kaunas province, on the 
east by Vilnius, on the south by Gardinas, and on the 
west by East Prussia. In a topographical sense the 
country is divided into two distinct parts ; the northern 
half is very fertile and possesses near Kazlu Ruda ex- 
tensive forests, whereas the south-west, traversed by a 
chain of hills, is covered with innumerable lakes which 
abound in fish. The largest of these, Lake Vigrai, 
has an area of 10,000 hectares. Swamps are also 

There are about 700,000 inhabitants in the province. 
There are seven district divisions known as Suvalkai, 
Augustavas (Augustovo), Kalvarija, Marjampole, Semai 
(Seiny), Vilkaviskis, and Naumiestis. During the Russian 
occupation of the province the capital, Suvalkai, had 
25,000 inhabitants. The episcopal residence Seinai boasts 
a Roman Catholic seminary and is generally regarded 
with reverence by all Lithuanians as the home of 
Lithuanian religious culture. Augustavas is best known 


for its canal of the same name, which figured largely in 
the Great War. 

Cultivated land constitutes 49 per cent, of the total, 
meadows and pasture 19.5 per cent., and forests 23 per 
cent. The rest is uncultivated. 

The province of Gardinas has an area of more than 
38,600 square kilometres and is divided into nine districts, 
i.e. Gardinas, Sakale, Baltstoge, Brest-Lithuamen, Kobrin, 
Pruzenai, Slanimas, VilkaviSkis and Bielsk. On the 
north it touches Suvalkai and Vilnius, on the east the 
Minsk government, on the south Volhynia, and on the 
west Poland. Its configuration is also that of an undulating 
plain with a mean altitude of 160 metres. The highest 
hill, in the Slanimas district, reaches 280 metres. In 
the south-east are many swamps. The Lithuanian hills 
divide the country into two basins, that of the Baltic 
Sea and that of the Black Sea. This explains why some 
of the rivers flow north and others south. The Nenmnas 
flows in the first -named direction and the Jasiolda and 
Pina, affluents of the Pripet, in the second. 

The capital, Gardinas, is situated on the right bank of 
the Nemunas at the point where the river begins to 
penetrate a barrier of hills and forms a valley enclosed by 
sides one hundred feet in height. Gardinas is the point of 
bifurcation of several railway lines and possesses a land 
bank. Its efforts to improve agriculture are favourably 
known* Its fortress and environs were the scene of 
many sanguinary engagements during the war. Pruzenai 
and Vilkaviskis possess well-known distilleries. Slanimas 
has made a name for itself in apiculture. Balstoge 
contains many breweries and one of the biggest weaving 
mills in all Lithuania. Druskinmkai is celebrated for 
its salt baths, and is very rich in radium. 

Seventy per cent of the territory is a light soil , Cultivated 
land constitutes 39 per cent,, meadows and pasture land 
22 per cent., forests 25 per cent., and uncultivated land, 
marshes and moving sand 14 per cent, of the total area. 

In the Minsk government, the district of Naugardukas, 
called also Naupihs, forms part of ethnographic Lithuania. 
Before Vilnius, Naugardukas was the Lithuanian capital, 


and ruins of the castle in which the Grand Duke Mindaugas 
resided may still be seen there. 

No review of Lithuania would be complete without 
mention of Prussian Lithuania, which is generally now 
referred to as Lithuania Minor. Since 1422 it has been 
under Prussian domination. It was about that time, 
in fact, that Vytautas the Great ceded this part of the 
country to his enemies, the Knights of the Teutonic 
Order, in order to promote his far-reaching political 
ambitions elsewhere* Nevertheless, the greater part of 
this territory has preserved its Lithuanian character 
despite its secular dependence upon Prussia and the most 
persistent efforts to Germanize it. One can find in 
Prussian Lithuania Lithuanian customs, types, and, 
above all, the Lithuanian language* In 1654 the Old 
Prussians or Borussians renounced their Balto-Lithuaman 
idiom in favour of German, The Prussian Lithuanian 
does not differ essentially from his compatriot of Lithuania 
Major save in his religion, which is Protestant. The 
districts of Tilze (Tilsit), Klaipeda (Memel), Kagame 
(Ragnit), Pilkalne (Pilkallen), the eastern parts of the 
districts of Labguva (Labiau), Isrute (Insterberg), Gumbine 
(Gumbinnen), Stalupenai (Stalluponen), and Goldape 
(Goldapp) are still in great measure Lithuanian. 

The city of Klaipeda or Memel, situated at the entrance 
to the Gulf of Kurland, is a very important port for 
the future of Lithuania ; but although, under the Versailles 
Peace Treaty, detached from Germany, together with the 
rest of the Memel territory, and recognized as Lithuania's 
sole sea outlet by the Powers in their reply to the German 
delegation, on June 16, 1919, as already mentioned, the city 
continues to be administered by the French, very much to 
their own special advantage. In the Middle Ages, Memel 
was an object of fierce contention between the Lithuanians 
and the Teutonic Knights. To-day, in its national com- 
plexion, the place is largely Lithuanian. Tilze (Tilsit), on 
the Nemunas, is the natural centre of Prussian Lithuania. 
Here was organized the contraband trade in Lithuanian 
books when the latter were prohibited in Russian 
Lithuania. Tilsit is also known as the scene of the Peace 


i Treaty of that name which Napoleon signed there in 1807. 
Gumbine (Gumbinnen) on the Pisa and Isrute (Insterberg) 
on the Pregel are two interesting localities. 

The country is rich in meadow land, forests, and fertile 
soil. Agriculture and cattle-breeding form here, as 
they do in Lithuania Major, the principal occupation 
of the people. In certain regions, along the coast more 
especially, are less fertile lands and peat moors. The 
town of Trakenai is famous for horse-breeding. Several 
small localities in the east, Palrnininkai for example, 
are also known for their amber trade. 

The climate of Lithuania varies according to the situation 
of the provinces. On the littoral it is influenced by the 
sea and becomes more and more continental as one 
advances into the interior. The mean temperature is 
6.6 degrees centigrade. In July the mean is 18 degrees. 
In winter for four months the thermometer falls below 
zero. The rainfall is 580 millimetres annually, July and 
August being the wettest months. Westerly winds pre- 
dominate, but in summer they blow from the north-west 
and in winter rather more from the south-west. 

In the Vilnius province the climate is fairly continental. 
The summer temperature is generally higher than in 
Lithuania Minor (in July, for example, 18*6, whereas 
at Konigsberg it is only 17*5 degrees). In winter, on 
the other hand, it is lower, the thermometer during five 
months (from November to March) falling below zero. 
The rainfall reaches 605 millimetres annually. Cloudy 
is frequent. At Vilnius, for example, there 
on an average during the year only 63 bright days, 
133 cloudy and 167 days of rain. 

The climate of Kaunas province is strongly influenced 
by the sea. In July the average temperature is 18 degrees, 
while in winter it oscillates in the various districts between 
3 degrees and 6 degrees. The atmospheric precipitation 
varies from 550 to 600 millimetres. 

The province of Suvalkai has a mean annual temperature 
of 6-2 degrees. In July the average is 17 -7 degrees; 
from December to March it is below zero* Suvalkai is 
not so rainy as the other provinces, the fall being from 500 



to 550 millimetres. The weather is very variable, especially 
in spring. There are some 70 wet days in the year. [ 

The province of Gardinas has the most continental 
climate. The average temperature is in January 
6 degrees, in July 20-9 degrees. The annual rainfall 
does not exceed 335 millimetres, showing that Gardinas is 
the driest of the Lithuanian provinces. 

In its generality Lithuania is a plain lightly inclined 
towards the sea and traversed by two chains of so-called 
mountains, the Lithuanian Hills and the Telsiai Heights. 
The Nemunas divides the Lithuanian Hills into two 
groups to the left the chain of the south-west, to the right 
the chain of the south-east. The latter crosses the Vilnius 
province and the north of Gardinas province. The western 
chain, which is smaller, starts from the left bank of the 
Nemunas, extends to the province of Suvalkai and as 
far as Prussia. Strictly speaking, these hills are merely 
light undulations with an average altitude not exceeding 
200 metres. The highest point is Mount Cmpiskiai (55 
kilometres south-east of Vilnius), which rises 313 metres. 
In the valleys numerous lakes brighten the scenery. 

The Telsiai Heights largely resemble the Lithuanian 
Hills. They skirt the sea and traverse the districts of 
Telsiai and Raseiniai in the province of Kaunas. Their 
lesser spurs extend as far as Prussian Lithuania. The 
average altitude of the chain is 150 metres, the most 
notable peak being Mount Satrija. In Lithuania Minor 
is Rambynas, the legendary mountain of the Lithuanians* 
The region of Ober-Eysseln, owing to its charming scenery, 
is sometimes called the Lithuanian Switzerland. 

Lithuania owes much of her scenic distinction to her 
rivers and lakes in which the country abounds. This 
variety is caused by winds from the west which carry 
rain-charged clouds from the sea and also by the clayey 
soil which prevents the subsidence of the water. 

The Nemunas is the great Lithuanian river. Its course 
has tfie ?6rm of the latter Z. The lower horizontal stroke 
corresponds to the line east-west which it describes from 
its source to the town of Gardinas ; there the river turns 
abruptly towards the north, but when several kilometres 


from Kaunas it resumes its east-west direction, which it 
keeps till it enters the Baltic a little below Tilze (Tilsit). 
The Nemunas has cut for itself a deep bed and in places 
its banks are very steep, of cliff-like formation, while 
in others they are flat. In its upper reaches the Nemunas 
has been compared to the Rhine, but is less attractive 
in its lower reaches in Lithuania Minor, where it flows 
idly through a plain. Then for the last time it returns 
to the hills, piercing the Prussian spurs of the Telsiai 
Heights and winds round Rambynas, the mythological 
mountain of the Lithuanians. 

The Lithuanian basin is formed principally by the 
Nemunas and its numerous affluents. On the right bank 
the Nemunas receives the Jura, Dubysa, Nevezes, Neris 
or Vilija, which comes from Vilnius, the Merkis, etc. Its 
affluents on the left bank are the Sesupe, Black Ancia, 
Zelve, Mulcia, etc. These affluents are not uniform and 
monotonous rivers : each has its distinctive aspect and 
passes through delightful country. The gilded waters 
of the Neris inspired the Lithuanian poet Mickiewicz. The 
Dane, which joins the Nemunas near Memel, is renowned 
for its beautiful shores. The Dubysa, which is certainly 
one of the prettiest rivers in Lithuania, acquired a melan- 
choly notoriety during the war, many desperate engage- 
ments having been fought on its banks. The Venta, 
which traverses Kurland and directly enters the sea, 
often causes floods. 

The lakes greatly contribute to the beauty of Lithuanian 
scenery. They exceed 2^100 in number. Corresponding 
to the two mountainous regions they may be divided 
into two groups. The greater number are in the Lithuanian 
Hills, i.e. about 1,500. The eastern chain, on the right 
bank of the Nemunas, is abundantly provided with them, 
notably Lakes Drukse and Narutis (Narocz). On the 
left bank, in the region of the south-western chain, are 
Lakes Augustavas, Vigriai, Duse and Trakai. One of 
the eleven isles of the last-named contains the poetic 
ruins of a castle belonging to the epoch of Keistutis. 
The second group of lakes borders the littoral of the Baltic 


Geologically Lithuanian soil is in large measure the 
work of the glacial period. Glaciers from Scandinavia 
covered Lithuanian territory, and in their retreat left 
numerous morains and blocks of stone which they had 
brought in their course. Even to-day this plain traversed 
by hills affords sufficient proof of the diluvial formation 
of the country. The marshes, peat-bogs and valleys 
have an alluvial origin. The deeper strata, chalk for 
example, are products of the tertiary period. 

The province of Vilnius is formed by tertiary strata 
which were mostly covered by diluvial formations. The 
quality of the soil is extremely variable. It is not rare 
to find sand close to the best black earth. Nevertheless 
sandy clay is most frequent in this province. Where 
clay, which is an impermeable stratum, predominates 
the waters remain stagnant and form swamps. Such is 
the case, for example, in the districts of Vilnius and 
Asmena. In the district of Trakai, on the contrary, 
we find a very fertile black earth. 

The province of Kaunas is of almost exclusively diluvial 
origin, although in places Devonian formation may be 
found (Siauhai), also Jurassic and tertiary. The soil 
is in general clayey ; but black earth exists in some 
districts of the north (Panevezys, Siauliai, etc.), moving 
sand in the Zarasai district. In certain places the marshes 
favoured by the clay soil have formed peat bogs. 

The soil of the province of Suvalkai is in general a 
product of the glacial period. The valleys and marshes 
are of alluvial formation. By the side of these strata 
one meets here and there with chalk. The soil of the 
northern plains is of superior quality to that of the moun- 
tains of the south ; it is formed of clay mixed with chalk. 
The south has numerous swamps and, in places, a sandy soil, 
In general the soil here is much less productive than in 
the north. 

The province of Gardinas is rich in clayey lands of a 
general diluvial formation. One finds some black earth 
in the south, but this is rather rare. It should be 
mentioned that there are moving sands in the districts 
of Pruzenai and Vilkaviskis and numerous peat bogs 
in those of Kobriu and Slaniinas. 


FOR many years it was generally believed in Western 
Europe that the Lithuanians were Slavs. A similarly 
erroneous belief was entertained as regards the Estonians 
and Letts. The union of Lithuania with Slavonic 
Poland, then her dependence upon Slavonic Russia, have 
helped to create and foster this error. 

Actually the Lithuanians together with the Letts and 
Old Prussians form a family of Aestians or Baits, who 
for centuries have preserved their own language and 
customs. They are part of the great family of Aryan 
peoples to which the Germans and Slavs also belong. 

The Lithuanian language, however, conclusively proves 
the non-Slavonic origin of the Lithuanian people as a 
whole, for although it has borrowed individual words from 
the Slav vocabulary, as also from the German, in all 
other respects it is an entirely distinct and separate 
etymological unit. Slav and German borrowings no 
more make it German or Slav than our own Greek and 
Latin borrowings would make English Greek or Latin. 
Lithuanian is, in fact, one of the oldest, if not the oldest, 
language extant in Europe, and as such fully deserving 
greater attention from philologists. It is indeed very 
closely related to Sanscrit and possesses, according to the 
celebrated Russian philologist Fortunatov, more than 
75,000 words. Intrinsically it is unquestionably a highly 
developed tongue which lends itself admirably to all 
nuances of literary and colloquial expression. No less an 
authority than Elis6e Reclus, in his Universal Geography, 

says' of it : 
Of all languages of Europe, Lithuanian, which lacks augumen- 

fatives, is the one which possesses most affectionate and caressing 



diminutives. It has more of these than either Spanish or Italian ; 
it has more of them than even Russian, and can multiply them 
almost to infinity, applying them to verbs as well as to adjectives 
and nouns. -If the value of a nation in the ensemble of humanity 
were to be 1 " measured by the beauty of its language, then the 
Samogitians and Litvines would occupy the first rank among the 
inhabitants of Europe. 

A British authority, Benjamin D. Dwight, in his 
Modern Philology also writes : 

This (the Lithuanian tongue) is a language of great value to 
the philologist. It is the most antique in its forms of all living 
languages of the world, and most akin in its substance and spirit 
to the primeval Sanscrit. It is also at the same time so much 
like the Latin and Greek as to occupy the ear of the etymologist, 
and in the multitude of words not otherwise understood, in the 
place of the interpreter, with its face fixed on Latin and its hand 
pointing backwards to the Sanscrit. It is like a universal inter- 
preter, seeming to have the gift of tongues, since its tongue is so 
greatly like the rest in preserving the purse of prime model, from 
which they are all corrupt derivatives, as to seem, in whatever 
language you hear, the chime of that language, ringing loud and 
clear from ancient time. 

The famous German philospher, Emanuel Kant, in 
his preface to Mielke's Dictionary says : " She (Lithuania) 
must be preserved, for her tongue possesses the key which 
solves the enigma not only of philology but also of history." 

In the opinion of expert investigators this tongue 
affords proof of a primitive connexion between the 
Lithuanians and the Greeks. The cradle of the Indo- 
European races is generally located on the shores of the 
Caspian Sea; .and it is therefore not impossible that, 
after the dispersion of the ancient Aryan family, these 
two peoples for some time pursued a common route 
towards the west. Subsequently their paths diverged. 
The Eolians, Dorians, lonians and Thracians, tribes of 
pure Hellenic race, drifted towards the south, whereas 
Aestians or Salts travelled north and established them- 
selves on the shores of the Baltic. 

It is generally admitted that at the dawn of the ChrisKan 
era, or perhaps a little earlier, the primitive idiom of tfoe 
Aestians disappeared in giving birth to two nw languages 


Old Prussian (Borussian) and Letto-Lithuanian. The 
definite separation of Lettish and Lithuanian was effected 
only towards the end of the Xlth century. In course of 
time the family of Aestian peoples was considerably 
reduced. It lost the Old Prussians who fell under the 
sway of the Teutonic Knights and were Germanized. 
Already in the XVIIth century the Prussians had aban- 
doned their ancient idiom and adopted German. 

In matters of civilization the Lithuanians came under 
the influence of the Finns, their eastern neighbours, 
but after the latter had migrated to the lands which 
they occupy to-day their influence ceased to make itself 
felt, and the Lithuanians have conserved their national 
character. Certain etymological analogies suggest a Gothic 
admixture or contact, as for example the names of some 
farming appurtenances, viz., "karvide," a cattle-shed, 
" avide," a sheepfold, etc., but this influence was not 
sufficiently strong to eliminate the ancestral customs of 
the Lithuanians. 

To-day the ancient Baits are represented only by the 
Lithuanians and the Letts or Latvians. The two peoples, 
however, have developed along different lines. The 
Letts passed under the dominion of the Teutonic ,Order 
and became Protestants, whereas the Lithuanians formed 
an independent State and are Roman Catholics. Their 
languages also have drifted farther and farther apart, 
and to-day are two distinct idioms which, nevertheless, 
reveal & common origin. 

Elsewhere in these pages the fascinating subject of the 
Lithuanian language is dealt with in more technical detail 
(vide Chapter XV, on Language and Literature), 

Although nothing in the nature of an exhaustive historic 
survey of Lithuania's past is given here, since such an 
undertaking would require a volume or volumes to itself, 
even a superficial understanding of Lithuania's present 
would be impossible without noting the more important 
landmarks of her past. 

The Lithuanian people, from almost time Immemorial, 
have inhabited the shores of the Baltic between the Dvina 
and the Vistula. Their dwelling place was isolated from 


the main route of the nations from Asia into Europe by 
the plains of Southern Russia, intercepted by impassable 
swamps and forests. 4 '' Thus the Lithuanian people in the 
past lived their own life in tranquil fashion, innocent of 
aggression against their neighbours. Until the Xlth 
century very little reliable information about the origin 
of the Lithuanians can be found in the writings of other 

Nevertheless the first actual reference to the Lithuanians 
appears in Tacitus, who lived in the 1st century AJX 
Even at that remote epoch their territory was famous for 
its wealth of amber, which was sought by merchants from 
distant Rome. Tacitus speaks about the inhabitants of 
the land of amber and calls them Esti or Aestians, men- 
tioning, too, that they spoke a language distinct from 
German* They used very little iron. They cultivated 
grain more carefully than the Germans. Later writers 
also refer to the Lithuanians as Aestians. In the Vlth 
century Jordanes stated that the Aestians occupied an 
extensive area of the seacoast beyond the Vistula ; that 
they were people of peaceful habit, wherein they differed 
from the Germans, who more frequently migrated from 
place to place and came into collision with other races in 
consequence. In the Xlth century Adam Bremeiuskis 
speaks of the Aestians as a separate race, Pruri or Sambi, 
and styles them a humane people. He praises their cus- 
toms and censures them only for one thing, i.e. that they 
were not Christians. Bishop Albertas was slain by them. 
Writers of various centuries give the dwellers of the Baltic 
coast the same name and write similarly about their 
manners and customs. 

The Lithuanian language itself bears all the signs of 
extreme antiquity and hardly any indications of foreign 
admixture, thus showing that the Lithuanian race in 
its earlier stages had but little communion with other 
peoples but lived its own life in peace and contentment. 

The name Lithuania (Lietuva) appealed ftft the first 
time in the chronicles of the Xlth century on the occasion 
of the armed expeditions against Russian tribes. The 
Russian chronicler Nestor, a monk of Kiev, writes that 


the Russians, or rather the Ruthenes, victoriously fought 
the Lithuanians in the Xlth century, but that subsequent 
epochs showed the great military superiority of the 
Lithuanians over the Russians. The Grand Duke Bam- 
gaudas welded a congeries of warring tribes into a single 
more or less homogeneous principality, and battled success- 
fully against the Russians to the east and the brethren 
of the Order of Sword-Bearers to the north in many 
decisive engagements. Ardvila succeeded Rimgaudas. 
This Prince or Grand Duke fought against the Tartars 
in 1242 to such good purpose that after a desperate struggle 
he achieved the liberation of both the Ruthenes and 
Ukrainians from the alien yoke. It is said that Ardvila 
founded the town of Naupilis, now known as Novogrodek, 
where the ancient ruins still exist. A little later began 
the Lithuanian wars against the Teutonic Knights. 

Mindaugas, Ardvila's successor, reigned more than 
twenty years over Lithuania. In 1252 this Grand Duke 
was converted to Christianity with all the grandees of 
his realm. This fact is often passed over in silence, 
although it has an important bearing upon the conversion 
of the entire Lithuanian people some hundred years later. 
At the same period Mindaugas received from a Papal 
envoy a royal crown in his castle at Naupilis ai*d in 
the presence of the Superior of the Order of the Teutonic 
Knights, proving that from that moment the Lithuanian 
rulers were invested with the kingly status. Mindaugas 
established a bishopric in the region of the present Vilnius 
and one of his! sons even became a monk. The country, 
however, did not enjoy peace. The Lithuanians were 
soon obliged to oppose anew the encroachments of the 
Teutonic Knights, whom they severely defeated in 126(1. 
At the same time the Prussians rose against the Order. 
Mindaugas fell a victim to assassination, and his death 
was followed by terrible internecine strife which lasted 
twenty years. At length Vitenis succeeded in winning 
power and in inflicting a decisive defeat upon the Teutonic 
Order near the river Treide. 

The successor of Vitenis was Gediminas, perhaps the 
most powerful of the Lithuanian sovereigns. He it was 


who established his residence at Vilnius. This enlightened 
ruler pursued a different policy from his predecessors and 
threw open the country to the influx of Occidental civiliza- 
tion, inviting Western artists and artisans, the Franciscan 
and Dominican friars to co-operate in the task of educating 
the people. He favoured the extension of both the Roman 
Catholic Church and the Orthodox Greek faith. Yet 
he himself did not accept baptism, and under his tolerant 
and eclectic sway Pagan temples and Christian churches 
flourished side by side. In response to proposals that he 
should adopt Christianity Gediminas is reported to 
have made use of these words : " The Christians worship 
God in their own fashion, the Russians according to their 
usage, the Poles also, and we worship God in our own 
fashion. We have all one God, so why speak to me of 
the Christians ? Where can you find more crimes, more 
injustice, more acts of violence, corruption and usury 
than among Christians, and chiefly among those who are 
ecclesiastics as bearers of the Cross ? " There are bigots 
in the present year of grace who might profitably emulate 
this enlightened Lithuanian monarch of the XlVth century. 
Apparently the Lithuanians, always known for their 
religious tolerance, regarded religion as much more the 
private concern of individuals than did other neighbouring 

The Teutonic Order continued its forays against 
Lithuania. Gediminas in 1323 complained to the Pope, but 
without result. He then had recourse to the sword and 
successfully repulsed the enemy. He further extended 
his dominion as far as the Dnieper to the east, and south 
almost as far as the Black Sea. He built a network of 
strong castles to safeguard his conquests, but failed to 
create a truly Lithuanian national culture. After his 
death civil troubles broke out afresh till his two sons, 
Algirdas and Keistutis, agreed to govern the country 
jointly. Algirdas, the elder, took over the eastern section, 
residing sometimes at Vilnius and sometimes at th* 
castle of Mednikai. His court came to a certain extenl 
under Russian influence, the wives of his second and thirc 
marriage having been Russian princesses* Nevertheless 


in a political sense Algirdas was far from being dependent 
upon Russia. On the contrary, he fought against the 
Russians on several occasions, and thrice entered Moscow 
as a conqueror. 

Keistutis ruled Western Lithuania. His wife Birut6, 
the daughter of a Lithuanian noble, figures prominently 
in Lithuanian song and story. Tradition has it that 
before her marriage she was a vestal virgin who guarded 
the sacred fire on a hill near Palanga. When Keistutis 
met her he was so overcome by her beauty that he made her 
his consort. To this day this hill bears her name and 
is the bourn of many a popular pilgrimage. But in 
lieu of the ancient sacred fire there now stands a chapel 
containing an image of the Virgin, while on the northern 
slope of the hill is a grotto with a statue of Mary, made 
to the order of the present proprietor Count Tyszkiewicz, 
to resemble Notre Dame of Lourdes. 

Keistutis resided at Kaunas and also at a castle on Lake 
Trakai which was erected by Gediminas. In marked 
contrast to his brother's court, here the Lithuanian 
language was alone spoken. His wife bore him six sons. 
Keistutis won the respect and affection of his people to 
a far greater extent than his brother, and to-day holds 
a place in the pantheon of national heroes. He was 
obliged to defend the country to the north and west 
against the Teutonic Order, though not always fortunate 
in these encounters, his opponent being the redoubtable 
Winrich of Kniprode. Once he was taken prisoner but 
escaped and sent his captor the following characteristic 
message : " Thanks for your kind reception. But if 
I should have the honour of welcoming you under similar 
conditions, I should know how to guard you better." 
His greatest misfortune was the loss of Kaunas. The 
defence was conducted by his son Vaidotas who, when 
he realized the hopelessness of his task, collected thirty- 
six of his bravest knights and tried to cut his way through 
the Teuton invaders, but was taken prisoner. The other 
defenders of the castle set fire to the latter and perished 
in the flames on Easter morning of 1352. Yet despite 
this loss, it was during the rule of the two brothers 


Algirdas and Keistutis that Lithuania attained her greatest 
development, extending for the first time from the Baltic 
to the Black Sea. 

After the death of Algirdas, in 1377, his son 
Jagellon tried to make himself master of the country 
with the help of the Teutonic Order. In 1382 he took 
Keistutis captive, as also his eldest son Vytautas, both 
of whom were incarcerated in Krevo castle. Several 
days later Keistutis was found strangled in his cell, but 
to allay the popular anger Jagellon conveyed the body 
to Vilnius where it was burnt, according to the national 
custom, seated upon an armoured horse. 

Vytautas later escaped from captivity and proceeded, 
also with the support of the Teutonic Order, to challenge 
Jagellon's hegemony. When, however, Jagellon became 
King of Poland through his marriage to Hedwig, the 
Queen of that country, he effected a reconciliation with 
Vytautas, to whom he ceded a portion of the principality 
in the south. On ascending the Polish throne he left 
Lithuania to his brother Skirgaila, but the latter proved 
so incompetent that Vytautas had little difficulty in over- 
throwing him and assuming undivided control in 1392. 

It was at this epoch that Polish influence began to make 
itself powerfully felt. The pious Queen Hedwig persuaded 
Jagellon to order the destruction of all the old Pagan 
sanctuaries and the extinction of all the sacred fires, while 
Jagellon himself embraced Christianity. Yet when 
Vytautas ascended the Lithuanian throne Polish influence 
sustained a check. Vytautas was the pupil of Hanno of 
Windenheim and was highly educated for those days, 
speaking both German and Latin. He had travelled 
widely in the west and south of Europe and had learned 
to know Occidental civilization. He sought to raise the 
standard of Lithuanian culture, but was greatly hindered 
by political complications. Lithuania was alternately 
exposed to Russian, German, and Polish influences, until 
finally the latter took the ascendant. None the less the 
rule of Vytautas synchronized with a notable extension of 
the power and prosperity of Lithuania. It was he who 
formed the project of expelling the Tartars from Europe, 


and although, he did not entirely succeed in his self- 
appointed task his victories and his great prestige for many 
years checked the Tartar incursions into Lithuania and 
Poland. Tamerlane was then sovereign of the immense 
Tartar Empire. He dwelt in Asia and confided the 
government of his hordes in Europe to vassal khans* 
One of these, Toktamich, rose against his suzerain, and 
having been vanquished by another khan sought refuge 
in Lithuania and demanded aid from Vytautas. The 
Grand Duke first sent armed assistance and subsequently 
took command in person and inflicted a severe defeat 
upon the Tartars in the vast unexplored plains which 
extended beyond the Don. 

The influence which Lithuania exercised over the 
Golden Horde and the Crimean Tartars dates from this 
moment. It is true that in 1399 Vytautas was defeated 
by Eudigne on the banks of the Vorskla, and had to beat 
a precipitate retreat, but this reverse did not discourage 
him and he continued the struggle with conspicuous 
ability. He intervened in the internecine feuds of the 
Tartars, played the r61e of arbiter, and was present at 
the election of two khans . These savage people entertained 
such respect for his justice that the entire Golden Horde 
beyond the Volga obeyed him. Twenty years after the 
battle of the Vorskla, the same Eudigne, who had previously 
defeated Vytautas, sent to Vilnius an embassy bearing 
rich gifts to solicit the friendship of the most powerful 
of European princes. 

Vytautas possessed in his immense territories two ports 
one, Palanga, on the Baltic, and the other, Odessa, on 
the Black Sea. It is narrated that on the day he vanquished 
the Tartar hordes established on the shores of the latter, 
he rode his horse into the water and proclaimed himself 
monarch of the ocean. The southern provinces of Volhynia, 
Ukraine and Podolia enjoyed a useful breathing spell 
xmder his regime. Fortresses established on the banks 
of the Dnieper and the Bobr were guarded by Lithuanian 
garrisons. Commercial caravans from the Orient could 
penetrate with their merchandise, and in perfect safety, 
into the heart of Lithuania. V~;tautas built roads and 


bridges for the development of trade, and travelled the 
land in person to see that justice was dispensed and order 
maintained* No powerful subordinate ventured to oppress 
the people, because the Grand Duke was ever ready to 
listen to complaints and to punish the wrong-doers. His 
was of course the paternal form of government best 
suited to the times. Yet when circumstances seemed to 
dictate such a course he did not hesitate to take up arms. 
When, for example, the inhabitants of Novgorod, who 
had recognized Lithuanian sovereignty since Gedimmas, 
refused obedience to Vytautas towards the end of his 
reigii, the Grand Duke, although then eighty years of age, 
placed himself at the head of his army and reached the 
province of Novgorod with a cannon of giant size for 
that epoch, drawn by forty horses, the sight of which so 
terrified the recalcitrant Novgorodians that they promptly 
tendered their submission. 

During the closing years of his prosperous reign, Vytautas 
wished to convert Lithuania into a kingdom and receive 
a royal crown. This idea was inspired by Sigismond, 
Emperor of Germany and of the Holy Roman Empire, 
who in his turn was actuated by the ulterior motive of 
wishing to shatter the alliance between Lithuania and 
Poland. There could have been none more worthy of 
the crown than Vytautas, but inasmuch as the Polish 
alliance united the two peoples under the same king, 
Ladislas Jagellon, the proposed coronation encountered 
insuperable opposition from the Poles and therefore came 
to nought. 

Vytautas invited to his splendid castle at Luck the 
Emperor Sigismond, King Ladislas, and other monarchs, 
At this meeting they discussed not only the question of 
the coronation but also other important matters, such as 
means of expelling the Turks from Europe. Among 
other dignitaries present were the King of Denmark, 
Vassili, the Grand Duke of Moscow, the Pontifical delegate, 
the Grand Master of the Teutonic Order, envoys of the 
Greek Emperor, the Tartar Khan, several tributary 
princes, etc. Never before had Lithuania seen so brilliant 
an assembly. For the entertainment and feeding of his 


guests Vytautas ordered the daily delivery of 300 cows 
600 sheep, 100 lambs, and 300 casks of beer. The festivities 
lasted fifty days, but no question of importance was 
settled. The coronation of Vytautas did not take place 
owing to the energetic opposition of the Poles, who feared 
that its effect might be the secession of Lithuania. Vytau- 
tas returned despondent to Vilnius, where he fell ill the 
following year. He was taken thence to Trakai, and when 
he felt his end approaching himself renounced his idea of 
being crowned. Ladislas did not abandon his cousin's 
bedside, and it was in the arms of Ladislas that Vytautas 
breathed his last at the advanced age of eighty-six. He 
was buried in Vilnius cathedral in 1430. The style of 
" Great " has been attached to the name of this distin- 
guished ruler. 

One of his most notable achievements, in conjunction 
with the Poles, was the crushing defeat he inflicted upon 
the Teutonic Order at Grunewald in 1410. 

Notwithstanding this notable record, one measure of 
his, in the opinion of no less a critic than Vidunas, con- 
tributed largely to the ultimate weakening of the Lithu- 
anian nation. He sent the Lithuanian nobility to distant 
territories not inhabited by Lithuanians, where these 
emigres, isolated from their countrymen, were soon 
absorbed by the foreign race and thus to a large extent 
lost to their own people. Polish influence gained corres- 
pondingly, and the Lithuanian nobility gradually adopted 
the Polish speech, Polish manners and customs. 

With Vytautas ended the series of great Lithuanian 
rulers inaugurated by Gediminas. Among his successors 
some were men of talent who tried to govern the country 
in the spirit of their ancestors, while others endeavoured 
to retain their power by clever compromises. But none 
of them handled the marshal's baton more effectively 
than Keistutis ; none bore the sceptre with greater dignity 
than Vytautas. 

Skipping, therefore, a succession of Grand Dukes whose 
administration witnessed the steadily declining power of 
the Lithuanian State, we reach the fateful year 1569> 
in which Polish-Lithuanian relations were regulated by 


the famous and disastrous Lublin Union. Nevertheless, 
under this treaty Lithuania retained her own treasury, 
law courts, and army distinct from those of Poland. At 
the end of the XVIIIth century Lithuania Major shared 
the fate of Poland, when the latter was partitioned, and 
thus fell under the Russian sway. Lithuania Minor had 
been annexed to Prussia before this epoch. 


IT is not strange that the great religious revolution of 
the XVIth century should have roused echoes in Lithuania. 
Documentary data dealing with the Reformation in 
Lithuania are still rare, but they prove that the country 
was powerfully moved by these new doctrines. 

Contributory causes in Lithuania, as elsewhere, to this 
revulsion of feeling may be found in the corruption of the 
clergy. The bishops, more especially, abandoning the 
traditions of the Church, set the worst example to the 
nobility and, people, which these were quick to imitate. 
At that time there were four dioceses in Lithuania, i.e. 
Vilnius, Samogitia, Kiev and Luck. The bishops were 
influential members of the Senate, participated actively 
in the political life of the country, and possessed consider- 
able juridical competence. Every bishop received a 
minimum of five thousand florins gold annually, which 
in those days was a huge stipend* The Bishop of Vilnius 
enjoyed an annual revenue of forty thousand florins. 
The rents of the Bishop of Samogitia were not less than 
this sum. Possessing as they did episcopal, temporal, 
and senatorial power, these magnates of the Church 
speedily deserted the apostolic path and became infamous 
for their luxury, their ambition, their pride, and their 
excesses of every description. 

These vices were shared in corresponding degree by 
the inferior clergy. Large numbers of priests were totally 
devoid of intellectual qualifications, many receiving 
Holy Orders without having passed through any school. 
Poland sent the most lamentable specimens as pastors 
to Lithuania. These worthies made not the slightest 


effort to learn Lithuanian, Disorganization and anarchy 
in ecclesiastical affairs reached such a pitch that according 
to contemporary evidence even Jews were appointed to 
hold office as parish priests ! 

Contaminated by this example the Lithuanian nobility 
presented a melancholy spectacle of deterioration. Luxury, 
effeminacy, and love of pleasure had become so deeply 
ingrained in the aristocracy that venereal disease in the 
Lithuanian tongue was styled " the court sickness." 
Those who had not yielded to immorality in their own 
country succumbed to the temptations offered by the no 
less decadent courts of Western Europe, where the Lithu- 
anian nobility made frequent sojourns. The members 
of the smaller nobility copied the manners of the magnates 
and, perhaps, were even less discriminating in their choice 
of relaxation. One of their playful fancies was to under- 
take raids on the country and to massacre all who ventured 
to resist them. 

In such circumstances the peasantry suffered unspeak- 
ably. Treated as slaves they were steeped in ignorance. 
The Church entirely neglected them. The Lithuanians 
had embraced Christianity in 1S86, on which occasion 
the various princes had assembled their subjects to be 
sprinkled with holy water by Christian missionaries. That 
was the extent of their baptism, beyond which ghostly 
teaching did not go, so that whilst the peasants had adopted 
a few external signs of Christianity, inwardly for the 
most part they remained Pagans. 

Thus it was that the power of the Catholic Church in 
Lithuania was largely illusory, and bound to collapse 
at the first resolute attack. 

Missionaries of the new doctrine began to, preach in 
Lithuania about 1530. The two principal reformers were 
Tortyllowicz, a parish priest of Samogitia, and Abraham 
Culva, a member of the Lithuanian noblesse. They were 
sent by Duke Albert of Prussia who, in his zeal for 
Reform, supplied the movement with money, books, and 
preachers. The new doctrine witnessed its full efflores- 
cence during the reign of the Grand Duke Sigismond 


Nicolai Radvila (Radziwill), known as the Black, was 
the central figure of the Reform movement in Lithuania. 
He belonged to a very wealthy and distinguished family 
of the Vilnius palatinate. Although enjoying the favour 
of the court, Radvila, in the midst of the prevailing 
degradation of manners, had preserved his moral integrity. 
Since Sigismond Augustus was without issue, Radvila 
was everywhere regarded as his successor to the throne. 
A Lithuanian of ancient stock, he was deeply indignant 
at seeing the Poles behave in Lithuania as though the 
country belonged to them and strongly opposed the 
union with Poland, Believing that the religious decadence 
of Lithuania was in great measure the work of unworthy 
Polish priests, he determined in this respect to detach 
his country from Poland by introducing the new faith. 
Thus he began to spread the Calvinistic doctrine about 
1550. He brought foreign preachers into the country and 
sent Lithuanians to Switzerland in order to study the new 
religion at its very centre. So successful were his efforts 
that in 1555 almost all the nobles with their peasant 
subjects had become Calvinists. Indeed, the Calvinistic 
doctrines won a victory with almost unprecedented 
ease. Lulled into carelessness by their success, the 
Reformers took no steps to secure for their Church a 
legal foundation. 

As long as Radvila the Black was alive and protected 
the Calvinistic Church nobody ventured to attack the 
new doctrine, but no sooner was he dead (in 1565) than 
the proud edifice of Calvinism fell even more rapidly than 
the previous Catholic Church. 

The weakening of the Calvinistic Church was largely 
due to the multiplication of sects. Almost every great 
family had its own preacher and private chapel. As 
many as seventy-two different sects and churches are 
mentioned in statistics of the time. This Babylonic 
confusion between the various doctrines, in which the 
theories of present-day Bolshevism are said to have been 
formulated, ruined Radvila's work beyond salvation. 
The country people, who had never understood the Catholic 
faith, had no more comprehension of the Reformed belief, 


which they speedily abandoned to revert to the Pagan 
cult of their ancestors. 

The conversion of Nicolas-Christopher Radvila to 
Catholicism was a severe blow for the New Believers. 
The Papal Nuncio Commendone and Cardinal Hosms 
greatly helped the Counter-Reformation in Lithuania, the 
former through his remarkable eloquence and diplomatic 
ability and the latter through his theological writings. 

The new Church, already seriously undermined, miser- 
ably collapsed in 1569 when the Jesuits arrived in Lithu- 
ania to reconquer the country for the old faith. In this 
manner the vital work of Nicolas Radvila the Black, the 
great Lithuanian patriot, was destroyed in a few years, 
and one of the last efforts of Lithuania to escape from 
Polish influence was frustrated. 

Ever-increasing checks and failures at this epoch bear 
witness to the baneful effects of the Lublin Union. Far- 
reaching projects of foreign policy were abandoned. The 
provinces of Poldachia, Podolia and Volhynia had been 
annexed by Poland and removed from the protection of 
Lithuania, who forfeited her rank among great Powers. 
The strength which had formerly been expended in expedi- 
tions and conquests was not employed to increase the 
internal prosperity of the country. Lithuania, accus- 
tomed to see her affairs directed by the Poles, became 
steadily more and more feeble in national will. And 
still another enemy had arisen. The Swedes invaded 
the country, which was now without a military organiza- 
tion, and the situation seemed desperate indeed. 

The Polish union, which lasted two centuries, exercised 
a debilitating influence on^the Lithuanian people. To 
speak Polish and to dress in the Polish fashion were con- 
sidered the correct thing. Towards the end of the XVIIth 
century nearly all the Lithuanian nobility had ceased to 
speak Lithuanian. The clergy were rarely recruited in 
the country, but were imported from Poland and assisted 
the rapid Polomzation of Lithuania. The upper classes 
of Lithuanian society, who went abroad for their educa- 
tion, became gradually strangers to the people who alone 
remained faithful to their native tongue and traditions. 


In this manner the link between the head and members 
of the Lithuanian body was sundered. The nobility no 
longer took an interest in anything that was not foreign, 
whilst the people, doomed to live in wretchedness and 
poverty, were insensible to political affairs and the public 

A century after the alliance of Lublin had been con- 
cluded national sentiment awoke once more in Lithuania* 
On the occasion of a Swedish invasion of Poland the 
Lithuanian magnates Janus and Boguslav, scions of the 
virile Radvila race, proclaimed at Kedainiai, in 1655, the 
independence of their country and attached themselves 
to the Swedes. This bold stroke, however, won but 
few adherents and was the last evidence of Lithuanian 

Thereafter the country fell a prey to the anarchy that 
had overtaken Poland. The right of brutal might 
everywhere prevailed. A vicious and dissolute nobility 
despoiled the people with impunity. The magnates, who 
jealously defended their privileges, maintained regular 
armies and fought among themselves. Under the govern- 
ment of the King of Saxony, Augustus (between 1733 
and 1763), internal chaos reached its apogee. 

The various national parties appealed for aid alternately 
to Prussia and Russia. Frederick II of Prussia, in con- 
junction with the two Empresses Marie Theresa of Austria 
and Catherine II of Russia, proceeded to partition the 
defenceless country. In 1793 there was a second and in 
1795 a third and final partition of both Poland and 
Lithuania. The present provinces of Kaunas, Vilnius 
and Gardmas, i.e. the largest part of the country, were 
attributed to Russia ; the government of Suvalkai was 
attached to Prussia, who in 1815 ceded it to Russia. 

Such was then the end of Lithuania, which failed to 
evoke a siiigle effective protest. This ancient land, which 
in the past had subdued the power of the Teutonic Knights 
and repulsed the Tartar invasion, was sold into feendage 
like so much vile merchandise. At the debut of her 
history Lithuania had produced a Gediminas, a Keistutis, 
and a Vytautas ; at the time of the partitions nought 


remained save an enfeebled and a depraved nobility and 
a people who vegetated in misery and ignorance. The 
" Lietuvos Vytis " (Lithuanian Knight), symbol of a 
glorious past, was relegated together with the Polish 
Eagle to the dustheap. From that moment the Black 
Eagle of Russia spread its sombre wings over Lithuania, 
who was destined to retrieve her national dignity under 
the Muscovite claws. 


ONLY sympathy and knowledge can help us to picture 
the sufferings of an entire people subjected to an alien 
yoke. For the Britisher the thing is but a dun historical 
tradition. But for thousands, nay millions, of members 
of the smaller peoples, not yet much beyond middle age, 
it is a dire personal reminiscence. And few among the 
resurrected nationalities of post-bellum Europe can enter- 
tain bitterer memories of such a past than Lithuania. 

In 1795 the greater part of the country was attributed 
to Russia, It may be cited as one of history's little 
ironies that this subjugation of the Lithuanian people 
should have synchronized with the French Revolution 
and the fall of the Bastile, which put an end to the pleasing 
political maxim " UEtat, c'est moi." In 1793 Louis XVI. 
expiated the sins of his forefathers upon the scaffold. 

But this national emancipation did not extend to St. 
Petersburg, True, the rights of Lithuania were confirmed 
on paper, but this was the last respite, and by 1793 the 
Russification of the country was begun with the govern- 
ments of Vilnius and Gardinas. The Lithuanians were 
expelled from office and replaced by a horde of Russian 
functionaries. The government of Suvalkai alone enjoyed 
ostensible automony. 

In 1831 the spirit of rebellion awoke in Lithuania, 
but it was suppressed with ruthless brutality. Suvalkai 
shared the fate of the other governments. The Russian 
Government decoyed the Lithuanian peasantry by the 
abolition of serfdom, so that they took but little part in 
the second insurrection of 1863. General Muraviev 
devastated the land. He asked only forty years to 



obliterate the Lithuanian national character. The Russian 
sword bit deeply into the Lithuanian flesh, and the Ukase 
of May 22, 1864, effaced the name of Lithuania from the 
map of the world, from which date all Lithuanians became 
subjects of the Russian North- West Provinces* Kalmucks 
and Tartars were let loose on the land to put down all 
manifestations of national sentiment. Only Russians 
took part in the administration of both governments 
and towns. In 1894 a secret edict bereft Lithuania of 
all remaining hope. To be eligible for employment on 
the railways, in the post offices, even to repair the roads, 
one had to be Russian. 

Worse still, Russian tyranny extended to the intellectual 
and spiritual life of the people, for it was hoped the more 
easily to wean the Lithuanians, ever eager for education, 
from their national allegiance by compelling them to go 
to Russian sources for their mental pabulum. 

After the first rebellion the university of Vilnius was 
closed down and its precious possessions were scattered 
among Kiev, St. Petersburg and Moscow. With the 
university fell also the higher schools. Eighteen institu- 
tions directed by the Jesuits, the Basilians and others 
were suppressed. There were left in Lithuania only 
three large seminaries, at Vilnius, Varniai, and Seinai, 
two normal schools, a few incomplete gymnasia at Vilnius, 
Kaunas and Suvalkai, while in these schools the Orthodox 
Russian reigned as master. Every high official received 
from the Government an allowance for the education of 
each of his children. 

The suppression of the monasteries and the substitution 
of the Russian State religion for Roman Catholicism 
menaced the existence of the popular schools, which were 
directed by the monasteries and Catholic parishes* Private 
schools were strictly prohibited. On the other hand, a 
school was founded for every district with a population of 
from fifteen to twenty thousand inhabitants. Happy the 
district which possessed two or three of these schools. 
The well-to-do peasants and the landed proprietors some- 
times engaged instructors who went from place to place to 
teach the children, but the school organization was noton- 


ously inadequate. In bad weather many children could 
not travel the distance separating their homes from the 
schools, and the task of educating the children fell, as 
before, upon the family. 

The Russian schools, moreover, could not entirely 
replace national instruction, since the families and the 
clergy secretly opposed their influence. For that matter 
the Russian teacher was not an educator, but simply the 
representative of a foreign bureaucracy, speaking a 
tongue scarcely comprehensible to the children and 
evoking no echo in their hearts. In order to prevent the 
diffusion of intellectual culture, in 1824 the peasant children 
were forbidden to attend the gymnasia. This prohibition 
was renewed in 1882 with a view to suppressing the 
Socialist danger. The only schools worthy of the name 
were the parochial schools in which the Lithuanian clergy 
taught the children their mother-tongue in a manner 
suited to the national sentiment. But these were closed 
in 1882, and thereafter the people had to make shift as 
best they could with books smuggled in from Lithuania 
Minor. The family, the hearth of Lithuanian life, had to 
replace the schools. In many cases the clergy took 
advantage of religious instruction to cultivate patriotic 
feeling among the children. As soon as the Russians got 
wind of this propaganda they subjected the clergy to a 
pitiless persecution, which reaped a lavish crop of martyrs* 

But the most ruthless blow to Lithuanian intellectual 
life was dealt by the infamous Manifesto of 1863 which 
banished the native language from the schools altogether* 
The speech which every Lithuanian had learnt at his 
mother's knee was branded as a crime and the Lithuanian 
child was forced to learn an alien tongue. From that 
moment the popular schools were deserted. Only those 
seeking to curry favour and advancement attended them. 
The Lithuanian might not even pray in his native language* 
Suvalkai government, which had hitherto been allowed 
to teach the Bible in Lithuanian, now lost this privilege, 
and religious instruction had to be imparted in the privacy 
of the home* The well-known Lithuanian sculptor 
Petras RimSa, in a group entitled " Lietuvos Mokykla ** 


(the Lithuanian School), has left a touching symbol of 
this sad period in Lithuanian history. It represents a 
mother turning a spinning wheel and at the same time 
teaching her child. 

In 1865 Muraviev prohibited the use of the Latin 
alphabet and circulated a Lithuanian grammar in Russian 
characters. Nothing more could be printed in Lithuanian 
letters, since an exception made in favour of a restricted 
scientific circle could not extend to the masses. On the 
other hand, the country was inundated with Russian 
writings to replace the forbidden Lithuanian books. 
Thus the world was confronted with an almost unprece- 
dented spectacle, that of a nation of three million souls 
dwelling on the soil of their ancestors, yet deprived of 
the right to use their mother tongue. The soft musical 
sounds of the native idiom might not be pronounced save 
behind carefully closed doors with the bolts drawn. 
Lithuanian books crossed the frontier as contraband 
during dark nights. Russian police spies were posted at 
the church portals to seize the prayer-books of the worship- 
pers. In return Lithuanian books printed in Russian 
characters were gratuitously offered but scornfully rejected 
by the people. 

Muraviev ruled with an iron hand. In less than two 
years he sent 128 persons to the gallows ; 972 Lithu- 
anians were condemned to penal servitude and 1,427 
exiled to Siberia. In all some 9,361 persons fell victims 
to the fury of Russification. To this number must also 
be added the thousands who in some form or other 
suffered from Russian persecution. Muraviev, the hang- 
man of Lithuania, was favoured by fortune, for although 
his life was repeatedly threatened he managed to escape, 
and on retiring from his congenial post, after two 
years' tenure, received from the Tsar as a reward for 
his services the title of count. Later a monument in 
his honour was erected at Vilnius, but all Lithuanians 
carefully avoided its site, and to-day His Excellency 
Michael Nikolaevitch Muraviev has disappeared from 
the Lithuanian capital. On the approach of the German 
armies the retreating Russians appropriately passed a 


cord round the neck of the notorious hangman and in this 
manner lifted him from his pedestal. Nor is it recorded 
that anybody wore crepe to commemorate his withdrawal. 

Confusion in the administration of justice favoured 
the Russian domination. Before the introduction of 
any Russian legislation the country possessed a well- 
arranged body of law, which had been drafted in 1529 
and bore the title of the Lithuanian Statute. This code 
contained laws and decrees promulgated by various 
Lithuanian sovereigns, and in course of time had been 
supplemented and revised. So practical of application 
was it that it even survived the partition and remained 
in force during part of the Russian regime. In 1848, 
however, the Tsar Nicholas I abolishe'd it and introduced 
Russian law, which was not adapted to Lithuanian manners 
and customs. Nevertheless, notwithstanding this measure, 
the Lithuanian Statute persisted as common law and was 
accepted even beyond the Lithuanian frontiers, in White 
Russia and Little Russia a striking proof of its suitability 
to the times. The Russian savant Speranski, a recognized 
authority in this domain, declared that it would be quite 
possible to modernize the Lithuanian Statute, but such a 
course, needless to say, did not commend itself to the 
Russian occupants, who preferred simply to rescind it. 

The administration of justice became very complicated. 
In the Suvalkai government, which Napoleon had united 
to the Duchy of Warsaw, the Code Napoleon was in force. 
In the other governments, Vilnius, Kaunas, and Gardinas, 
Russian law prevailed, to which the landed proprietors 
and bourgeois alone were subject. Nobody bothered about 
the peasant. When serfdom was abolished in 1861 
legislation should have been passed for the new free men, 
but nothing of the kind was done, and the Russian Govern- 
ment confided to 'each commune the duty of administering 
justice as it saw fit, so that each commune went to work 
in a different way. In the majority of cases recourse was 
had to common law. The judges were Russians, who 
understood hardly anything of the language of the country 
and were accessible to every kind of corruption. The 
Suvalkai government, which for a time had been attached 


to Poland, was deprived of jury trial. The inhabitants 
of the country were not equal in the eyes of the law, which 
constituted a grave defect, whilst the use of Russian, 
which many Lithuanian litigants did not understand, 
frequently operated to the detriment of the accused. 

In this manner the Russians provoked hopeless confusion 
in the sphere of justice. It would have been infinitely 
simpler to adapt the Lithuanian Statute to the needs of 
the new regime and thereby avert the disorder which 
resulted from this triple melange Russian law, the Code 
Napoleon and common law. But the Russian Govern- 
ment wished to have all Lithuanian law abolished. It 
was indifferent to the question of what sort of legislation 
took its place provided that it was not Lithuanian. 

But this does not exhaust the list of measures adopted 
by the Russian tyrants for the exploitation of the country 
at the expense of the native inhabitants. In the wake 
of the loss of liberty and the mother tongue came the turn 
of agrarian wealth. Measures to this end were taken 
from 1795, when Russia seized the property of the Crown 
and the State domains. The insurrections of 1831 and 
1863 provided the Russians with a convenient pretext for 
expelling many Lithuanians from their small patch of 
ground. If a single peasant revolted the entire village 
was punished, and the inhabitants in serried ranks set out 
on their long and weary march to Siberia. 

After the suppression of the monasteries the wealth of 
the congregations reverted to the State. It amounted to 
millions. To the parish priests, professors, and teachers, 
who had received their salaries from the monasteries, 
ridiculous compensation was assigned. A parish priest 
might esteem himself fortunate if he could lay hold of 
450 roubles annually, and a teacher getting 250 roubles 
was regarded as well paid. In order to gloss over this 
piece of barefaced robbery the Russian Government 
founded twelve scholarships of 300 roubles each for 
Lithuanians who should go to Moscow to study. 

An Ukase of 1865 forbade the Lithuanian aristocracy 
to acquire landed property. In order to weaken the 
Catholic nobility they were allowed only to rent land, 


and a lease might not be concluded for longer than twelve 
years. The same measure was applied in 1894 to the 
Protestants and to Russians who had contracted marriage 
with Catholic women. 

The peasant who wished to acquire land was obliged, 
in conformity with a decree of July 1868, to present a 
"certificate of patriotism," which the Government- 
General granted to those with whose political attitude the 
central authorities were satisfied. 

In 1870 it was decided that no Lithuanian peasant 
might receive more than 60 hectares (about 150 acres) 
of land. A decree of 1889 prohibited the cession of landed 
property to political and religious chiefs of Lithuania. 
In 1892 a new law interdicted the acquisition of land by 
all peasants who had opposed the closing of the churches 
and the destruction of the latter by dynamite. All these 
decrees reacted disastrously on the country. The peasant 
would no longer attach himself to his strip of ground, 
since he knew not at what moment his produce might be 
confiscated by the Russian chinovniks. In these circum- 
stances immense territories fell out of cultivation and the 
peasants migrated in thousands. Lithuania became a 
land accursed, and accursed was he whose misfortune 
it was to dwell therein, since the Russian overlords regarded 
him as little better than a criminal and an outcast* 


FORTUNATELY for posterity the iron hand of Russia 
could bend but could not break the national spirit of the 
people. An interval of seeming despair gave way to the 
outbreak of a neo-Lithuanian movement largely directed 
by young Lithuanian students. Secret associations were 
formed. In 1875 a hectograph review entitled Kalvis 
Melagis (The Liar Blacksmith) made its appearance in 
St. Petersburg. At Moscow, through the same medium, 
was published AuSra (Dawn). Both these were written 
by students for students. All along the frontiers Lithu- 
anian magazines cropped up. After Petersburg and 
Moscow came the turn of Tilsit, where in 1883 the indefatig- 
able Dr. Basanavicius founded a monthly review styled 
also Au&ra. Since 1887 have appeared successively, in 
1889, Varpas (The Bell) ; in 1890, ApSvalga (The Review) ; 
in 1896, Teuynes Sargas (Guardian of the Fatherland), 
in 1901, Naujienos (News), and Ukininkas (Peasant). 
These periodicals represented various parties, but all 
pursued the same ultimate end the creation of an autono- 
mous Lithuania. Little by little these printed invocations 
penetrated into the soul of the people and set up vibrations 
by no means welcome to the Russians. Obsessed by 
the fear of losing the country the Russians began to 
organize their offensive. The Russian police agent insinu- 
ated himself everywhere, even into stables and cattle- 
sheds, in the hope of there discovering the forbidden 
writings. Against smuggling Russia opposed a vigilant 
watch at the frontiers. Although thousands of these 
prints fell into the hands of the Customs guards, a highly- 
organised contraband system was able to diffuse a large 


number of the same among the people who read and 
re-read them surreptitiously. Thousands of journals, 
calendars, prayer-books and other pamphlets sent by 
secret press associations crossed the frontier, in spite of 
all the law could do to prevent it. Many of these publica- 
tions were not printed but written by hand, and they 
circulated until they became illegible. 

A keen sense of humour was not lacking among the 
authors of these broadsides. To mock the Russian 
Government, notoriously stupid as well as brutal, the 
larger part of them, actually printed at Tilsit, bore the 
name of Vilnius on their title-pages, together with the 
date 1863, the last year of freedom for the Lithuanian 

These published incitements made the people bolder 
and bolder. Appeals were pasted on walls during the 
night, and in 1896 many were distributed in broad day- 
light. The struggle on both sides grew more and more 
embittered. From 1900 to 1902 the customs confiscated 
about 56,000 Lithuanian writings. Victory was scarcely 
in doubt from the start. On April 27, 1904, Russia capitu- 
lated : the interdict against Lithuanian printing was 
removed. Shortly afterwards the Russian Revolution 
extended to Lithuania, but the struggle was not violent, 
thanks to the concessions made by the Government on 
the question of the national language. 

This impetus of Lithuanian culture led to an immediate 
development of national sentiment. Even before 1863 
a literary renascence had begun. Prompted by belief 
in the greatness of his country Daukantas wrote a history 
of Lithuania in the Lithuanian language. The Bishop 
Valanfiius also wrote a history of the dioceses of Samogitia 
in the same tongue. His episcopal colleague Baronas 
composed Lithuanian poetry. All these men believed 
in the restoration of Lithuanian greatness. But in 
1863 an icy blast passed over the land and withered these 
literary flowers. As the nobility inclined towards Poland 
the agricultural classes assumed the reins of government, 
and despite numerous obstacles the sons of the peasantry 
devoted themselves to st^dy with fiery ardour. Even 


before 1875 they had formed secret associations and 
turned out some of the earliest national journals* 

Cultivated Lithuanians no longer, as formerly, went 
to Russia in quest of positions, but remained in their 
own country and helped to sustain the national movement. 
A secret warfare against the brutish system applied by 
the Russians was conducted during many long years. 
At last in 1892 and 1896 revolt broke out openly. The 
people refused to recite Russian prayers in the churches, 
and on f&fce days absented themselves from the Orthodox 
Russian churches. Although Polish influence made itself 
very strongly felt in , the country, Lithuanians step by 
step won a foothold in the normal schools and in the 
ecclesiastical seminaries. In 1870 the pupils of the seminary 
of Kaunas recalled their Lithuanian origin. Even at 
Vilnius, where Polish influence was very great, the Lithua- 
nian students formed associations, Abroad they organized 
themselves even more rapidly. Lithuanian student 
societies were formed at Petersburg, Moscow, Riga, 
Odessa, and at Fribourg in Switzerland. In Russia these 
associations were secret. 

They did not concern themselves solely with univer- 
sity questions. At the end of last century they launched 
appeals to the people. During vacations the students 
journeyed to distant villages in quest of fresh recruits. 
They established secret schools. The Lithuanian section 
of the Universal Exposition at Pans in 1900 clearly 
showed the activity of the Lithuanians. It contained 
nineteen journals and thousands of books, despite the 
printing prohibition. 

The furious efforts of the Russian police to suppress 
these manifestations led to frequent collisions and many 
fatal casualties. The Russo-Japanese war afforded 
Lithuanian patriots an excellent opportunity for redoubled 
attacks upon the Muscovite knout policy. As we have 
seen, the first great victory was scored when Petersburg 
at last rescinded the insensate and dastardly prohibition 
of Lithuanian printing. This hardly-won concession 
opened the path to fresh objectives, and the newly-awakened 
native intelligentsia rallied to their large-scale offensive 
with increased ardour. 


The stirring story of the Lithuanian Renascence must 
ever be associated with the name of Dr. Basanavieius, 
who devoted his whole life to the Lithuanian cause* 

He was born in 1851 at Bartnikai, Suvalkai government, 
the son of well-to-do parents. He studied at the Mariampol 
gymnasium or high school, where he graduated with the 
silver medal award. Thence he proceeded to the Moscow 
university, where he studied philosophy and medicine* 
In 1879 he secured his medical diploma, and subsequently 
practised his profession off and on some twenty-five years 
in Bulgaria. After the Russian Revolution of 1905 he 
returned to Lithuania, where he still resides. 

The value of his work for his country cannot be over- 
estimated. While the embargo on Lithuanian printing 
lasted he devoted himself to study of Lithuanian origins, 
collected the ancient Dainos or popular songs, historical 
reminiscences, etc., and immersed himself deeply in 
the national soul. In 1883 he went to Lithuania Minor, 
where at Ragaine and later at Tilze (Tilsit) he published 
AuSra (Dawn) which did much to promote the Renascence 
movement. By devious and manifold contraband routes 
this paper found its way into Lithuania Major, where 
it met with a ready sale. The besotted Russian Govern- 
ment detected in this phenomenon a Bismarckian intrigue 
and tried to entrap the publisher. In 1885 Basanavicms 
was obliged to leave Germany, but he confided his work 
to his comrade Sliupas. Basanavicius returned to Bulgaria, 
where he resumed his task of compilation, till he had 
prepared six large volumes on the Lithuanian people, 
which appeared in Lithuania Minor and America. 

After the Russian Revolution of 1905 he renewed his 
activities in Lithuania Major. When the Diet of Vilnius 
assembled he was elected President in recognition of his 
tireless energy. He took advantage of the interval of 
calm succeeding 1905 to try to improve the moral and 
intellectual life of his countrymen. To this end he founded 
the Lithuanian Scientific Society, which published an 
organ called Tauta (Nation). He also opened a museum 
and library in Vilnius. In 1913 he visited the flourishing 
Lithuanian colony in the United States* which contributed 



large sums to help in the realization of his special objects, 
including the establishment of a theatre and a national 

Basanavicius has continued to live in Vilnius ever 
since, through all the upheaval of the Great War and 
subsequent unrest, never losing an opportunity of advanc- 
ing the national cause. He attended the opening of the 
Lithuanian Constituent Assembly or Seim at Kaunas 
on May 15, 1920, when he was accorded a wonderful 
reception. It was my privilege also to be present on 
that occasion, and the scene made a deep and lasting im- 
pression upon my mind. Even Polish persecution of every- 
thing Lithuanian has hesitated to touch this noble veteran, 
and he lives among the books of his beloved Lithuanian 
library, occupying his leisure with his favourite studies. 

Another notable name closely connected with Basanavi- 
cius is that of Vincas Kudirka, the Lithuanian national 
poet. For many years he remained under Polish influence 
till through Aulra he found the way back to his own 
people. After this paper had ceased to appear he secretly 
founded a students* society, which brought out a new 
paper, the Varpas (Bell). This organ was printed at 
Tilze, but edited by Kudirka from Lithuania Major, 
where the Russian police frantically sought to discover 
his identity. Besides the Varpas he also issued the 
Ukininkas (Peasant), addressed more especially to the 
rural masses. He was responsible likewise for the clever 
satirical tales Titias (Bridge) and Viesininkai (The 
Officials) . But the best of which he was capable is embodied 
in his many folk songs which brought consolation and 
hope to his countrymen in their darkest hours. His 
activity naturally aroused official hostility. On several 
occasions he had to don the garb of a convict, which by 
that time had grown to be regarded as an honourable 
distinction among Lithuanians. He was unhappily not 
destined to assist at the emancipation of the Lithuanian 
language in whose cause he had ruined his health in 
prison, for he passed away four years before the year 
of liberation deeply mourned by a grateful people. 

The defeat of Russia by Japan evoked widespread 


disorders, assuming the form of peasant risings in the 
country and strikes in the towns* The spirit of revolt 
speedily spread to Lithuania, where the panic-stricken 
Russian officials soon abandoned the field to Lithuanians, 
who lost no time in taking control of the local administra- 
tion and the schools. In the autumn of 1905 the Tsar 
proclaimed freedom of person, press and assembly. 
Already in October of that year a number of Lithuanians 
had gathered at Vilnius and drafted a Memorandum 
addressed to the then Russian Minister, President Count 
Witte, demanding far-reaching autonomy, equal rights 
for all aliens in Russia, the recognition of Lithuanian 
as the official language in Lithuania, construction of 
Lithuanian schools, attachment of SuvaJkai government, 
hitherto included in the Polish administrative system, 
to Lithuania, freedom for the Catholic Church, etc. This 
Memorandum was actually published in the Russian 
Government organ, Pravitelstvennyi Vyestnik. It natur- 
ally evoked a lively protest from the Poles, who feared 
lest the grant of autonomy should alienate their former 
allied State from Poland. 

The initiative of the Vilnius Memorandum was the signal 
for a startling outburst of patriotic fervour and enthusiasm, 
all the stronger doubtless for its long suppression. In 
order to show that the foregoing Memorandum was not 
merely the handiwork of an isolated group of fanatics, 
the Lithuanian leaders decided to convoke a great National 
Lithuanian Diet or Congress at Vilnius. 

The indefatigable fighter for Lithuanian freedom, 
Basanavicius, signed an appeal to all parties of the country 
to unite in Vilnius for the expression of the national 
demands* The land became a veritable beehive of political 
activity. Meetings were everywhere convened to choose 
delegates to the Vilnius Congress* 

This Congress met in Vilnius on December 4th, admission 
being granted only by ticket. The congestion was tre- 
mendous, since more than two thousand delegates took 
part. All classes and callings were represented; all 
governments, districts and communes had sent their 
nominees. With them sat numerous representatives of 


societies and clubs, officials of the various parties, and 
many delegates of Lithuanians abroad, notably from Peters- 
burg, Moscow, Odessa, etc. It was an All-Lithuanian 
gathering in the fullest sense of the word. 

This Congress was followed by sittings of various 
organizations which adopted supplementary resolutions 
moved, for example, by the clergy of the three dioceses, the 
officials of the Peasants* Union, and the representatives 
of the Lithuanian Teachers 5 Body. 

The decisions of this imposing national demonstration 
bore testimony to the readiness of the people for the 
coming test. The event served as a warning, not only 
to the Russians but also to the Poles, to keep their hands 
off Lithuania in future. How swiftly the Russian adminis- 
trative apparatus could operate when it listed will appear 
from the example of the Governor-General of Vilnius, 
Froese, who on the day following the Congress issued 
a manifesto to the Lithuanian people in which he recognized 
the justice of their demands and promised to submit them 
to the Duma. As a first step towards the fulfilment of 
the Tsar's Ukase of October 17, 1905, he permitted the 
employment of the Lithuanian tongue in the communal 
boards and schools. The sequel, however, showed how 
insincere the Russian Government really was in its lavish 

The following historic resolution was adopted by the 
Vilnius Congress : 


That Russia is the opponent of the rightful demands of the 
nationalities existing under her rule. Since all Russia has now 
risen against this tyranny the Lithuanians also join the move- 
ment and decide to make common cause with the other nation- 
alities. To this end it is essential that every Lithuanian should 
be instructed in the importance of this step. 


Only self-government will satisfy the aspirations of the Lithu- 
anian people* Lithuania must therefore be resuscitated within 
her ethnographic boundaries as an autonomous State in the 
Russian Empire. Her relations with other Russian States must 
be established upon a federative basis. Vilnius will be the capital 
of the country and the seat of parliament. The latter will be 


elected by general, secret and direct ballot, in -which women -will 
also participate. 

No means must be neglected to attain these ends. In the first 
place, all parties must be reconstituted and directed in a common 
action. The following are decided : Refusal of military service, 
and taxes, the closing of Russian schools and Russian bureaux, 
the boycott of all liquor shops, the threat of strike, etc. 


The Lithuanian language is the official language. The schools 
must be the nurseries of the Lithuanian spirit and must be directed 
by teachers freely chosen. Good wishes for further success shall 
be expressed to all Lithuanians who, in the Vilnius government, 
are fighting against Polonization. 

Unfortunately the fervent hopes aroused by the con- 
cessions won through the Russo-Japanese war were 
destined to sustain a serious setback. The realization 
of Governor-General Froese's programme speedily en- 
countered exasperating checks. Another Russian official 
reaction led to renewed assaults on the Lithuanian 
language, which was again proscribed* The old horde 
of Russian chinovniks, but recently expelled* reappeared 
upon the scene to occupy their former posts* The right 
of land-ownership, ostensibly conceded to the Lithuanians, 
was so freely interpreted by Russian casuistry that in 
actual fact the Lithuanians received more paper than 
land. The fight against the Catholic Church was also 
resumed, and the anomaly was offered of Catholic priests 
and teachers obliged to go abroad to gain a livelihood. 
The former Russian muzzling order came into operation, 
and more inveterately than before the Russian police 
suppressed all public meetings of Lithuanians. Neverthe- 
less this policy of pinpricks was now powerless to put back 
the hand of time ; its most obvious effect was to strengthen 
popular opposition and the resolve to win national inde- 
pendence sooner or later. 

A very characteristic phenomenon of the epoch was 
the rapid development of the schools. Russian statistics, 
which cannot be accused of partiality to the Lithuanians, 
indicate that the percentage of illiteracy in Lithuania 
in 1897 did not exceed 45, whereas in Poland it was as 
high as 60, and in Russia 75 or 80. fii 1905 a commission 


for popular education convened at Kaunas succeeded 
in establishing, partly at least, the Lithuanian language 
in the schools. Some Lithuanians were admitted into 
purely Russian institutions, the normal school of Panevezis 
for example. In localities where the State made no 
provision Lithuanian committees came into being. Thus 
the educational society " Saule " (Sun) obtained permission 
to open a normal school at Kaunas, and so successful were 
its efforts that it established forty-five popular schools 
attended by more than a thousand pupils. This society 
shortly before the war comprised sixty-eight branches 
with 3,400 members, and in addition to schools had 
founded numerous communal libraries and reading-rooms 
which proved a veritable boon to the people. Three 
secondary schools were also created, together with a com- 
mercial school designed to train Lithuanians and thus 
better enable them to compete with the Jews, who had 
hitherto possessed a virtual monopoly of trade. Shortly 
before the War the society put up its own building at 
Kaunas at a cost of 200,000 roubles. 

In the Suvalkai government the educational society 
* 6 2iburys " (Light) discharged similar functions. Its fifty- 
seven branches number 4,200 members, and it succeeded 
in opening seven popular schools, a school of agriculture, 
and a high school for girls at Mariampol. Further it 
established several asylums for the poor, and folk-halls, 
while libraries were opened in almost every parish. 

Vilnius government also possessed its society of educa- 
tion styled " Rytas " (Morning). Its position, however, 
confronted by an active pan-Polish propaganda was very 
difficult and delicate. Yet it was able to form thirty-seven 
groups with a membership of 2,000, and thanks to its 
efforts reading-rooms were opened in several localities. 

These three societies, " Saule," " 2iburys," and " Rytas," 
will not soon be forgotten in Lithuania, where their splendid 
efforts in the cause of education and modern enlighten- 
ment have borne such rich fruit. 

Analogous work on behalf of temperance was done 
by the society " Blaivybe " which was founded at Kaunas, 
and in 1914 had 40,000 members and 171 branches. 


More than 25,000 pamphlets have been sent out by this 
association, and its labours have led to the closing of 
numerous pot-houses. 

Equally symptomatic of the thirst for progress has 
been the wonderful expansion of the Lithuanian press 
of recent years- The Society of St. Casimir has done 
much in this direction. Its membership before the War 
rose to 10,000 and it established its own printing-office 
at Kaunas, whence issued a flood of educational and 
religious literature, together with reviews and magazines 
of all kinds. At Vilnius two daily papers, Viltis (Hope) 
and the Lietuvos Zinios (Lithuanian News), appeared, 
also many weekly and monthly publications. The same 
objects were pursued by the Society " Sietynas " which 
was established at SiauHai and developed great activity. 

Among student organizations a specially important 
r61e has been played by the Lithuanian Society for the 
assistance of Lithuanian students in the higher educational 
institutions of the city of Moscow, under the superinten- 
dence of Mr. T. Narusevicius (Naroushevitch). This 
society attained a membership of nearly five hundred and 
during recent years has expended a very large sum of 
money for the above-mentioned objects. Many members 
of this society now occupy very high official posts in Lithu- 
ania and elsewhere. 

A comparison of the output of Lithuanian books during 
the three and a half centuries between 1500 and 1864 
with the brief period from 1904 to 1914 will afford some 
idea of the national determination to make up for lost 
time. The figures are respectively 786 and 2,550. Not 
a village could be found without its subscribers to Lithu- 
anian reviews ; not a district without its association for 
the development of the Press ; not a house without its 
calendar and religious books. It may be said without 
exaggeration that the entire people were obsessed with 
the desire for modern progress the same people whom 
Muraviev the Hangman had undertaken to wipe off 
the map of the world in the space of forty years. There 
is nothing remarkable in the fact that science, art, and 
literature, in the real sense of those terms, came some* 


what later in the day. Political strife is not a favourable 
medium for the cultivation of these refinements of life 
which prefer to wait till the social structure is more or 
less prepared. In 1907 the Scientific Society of Lithuana 
and the Society of Fine Arts were born in Vilnius, The 
former was founded by Dr. Basanavieius, and possessed 
250 members. It issued a yearly publication to which 
all classes contributed. Some time before the movement 
began in Western Europe this Society proposed to investi- 
gate Lithuanian folklore. All the old songs, legends and 
popular traditions were carefully collected and the Society 
Annual began to publish them. The yearly gatherings 
of this society were formerly attended by more than five 
hundred Lithuanians, and these occasions bore the character 
of national fetes. 

During this comparatively placid period of Lithuanian 
history poetry also was sedulously nurtured. It was 
customary for the villagers to assemble at the house of 
a well-to-do peasant or landlord and there sing the old 
popular ditties, the Dainos, which celebrate the glories 
of the past, the joys of love and the plaintive nostalgia 
of the Lithuanian people. 

In the villages also popular plays were resuscitated. 

The dedication of a church or the holding of a fair furnished 

a convenient pretext for these popular representations 

which, if they lacked somewhat in artistry, were replete 

with rustic vigour. In the towns theatrical unions were 

formed which promoted the staging of Lithuanian and 

also foreign pieces. The Lithuanians have always enjoyed 

a high reputation for their love of music. In the village 

choirs, conducted by the village organists, several artists 

of note gained their first experience. The names of 

Simkus, Sosnauskis and Brazys may be mentioned. It 

is to their credit that after perfecting their talent abroad 

they returned to their native land to co-operate in the 

further musical development of the country. 

The Society of Fine Arts, with 2muidzinavicius at 
its head, has busied itself on the one hand with the pre- 
servation of valuable national monuments of the past, 
and, on the other, with the encouragement of modern 


artists and the creation of new works. This Society holds 
an annual exhibition at Kaunas which always contains 
numerous canvases of a high standard of merit, and 
never fails to attract a big attendance. It has even begun 
to excite attention abroad. One of the Society's cherished 
objects is to erect a national building to be designed by 
Lithuanian artists. The scheme meets with the lively 
encouragement of the general public who have liberally 
contributed to its realization. 

The economic development of Lithuania in the past 
has encountered enormous difficulties. Enfeebled by 
mass emigration, the Lithuanians have had to fight against 
both the Russians and the Jews, although as regards the 
latter, my own personal opinion is that they are really 
a source of strength to the country at the present day. 
Economic debasement was a cardinal tenet of Russian 
policy as a means of maintaining their grip on the laud. 
Even after 1905, when Lithuania had already begun to 
develop in all other branches of human activity, its 
economic life left a good deal to be desired. Jin the 
economic conflicts between Russia and Germany, Lithuania 
found herself, so to speak, between the hammer and the 
anvil. The Germans wished to take advantage of the 
weakening of Russia through her war with Japan to 
dump their products into the country. The Russians, 
powerless to' compete against the Germans, avenged them- 
selves by imposing heavy import duties upon German goods. 
In many places, however, the primitive so-called 
" tryohkpolnyi " or three-crop tillage system of cultiva- 
tion had given way to a more rational one which created 
a demand for new agricultural machinery* A more inten- 
sive culture was an immediate consequence of the political 
successes gained. The peasant attached himself anew 
to his plot of ground, and many Lithuanians who had 
emigrated returned to their native land. The passion 
for landownership is typical of the Lithuanian as of the 
Russian peasant. In spite of everything the Russian 
occupants could do, the native Lithuanian would resort to 
a thousand subterfuges to gain possession of uncultivated 
ground. The peasantry also acquired the land of im- 


poverished proprietors. The Russian Government fought 
against this movement, by itself selling the land of ruined 
gentry and distributing it among Russian colonists who 
settled in the country en masse. These colonists were 
to be the Russian leaven designed to transform Lithuania 
into an Orthodox pasture, and needless to say they were 
liberally subsidized. Fortunately, these Russian plans 
miserably miscarried. The newly-created settlements dis- 
appeared as rapidly as they had sprung up, as soon as 
they had exhausted the official appropriations, and their 
holdings passed into Lithuanian hands. The latter, on 
their part, began to found societies for the purchase and 
sale of fields. In the Vilnius government the agricultural 
society " Vilija " thus functioned ; in Kaunas " Progress " ; 
in Suvalkai the societies " Ukinink\i Draugove " and 
" 2agre." The business turnover of these societies before the 
war had reached a total of a quarter of a million of roubles. 

Concurrently with practical work theoretical instruc- 
tion was not neglected. Agricultural courses were inaugu- 
rated and attended by the peasants, whilst the Government 
itself founded an agricultural school. 

The situation became more tolerable, but was not yet 
such as to tempt the return of all the Lithuanian emigrants 
from overseas. Working hands were insufficient, and 
high rates of pay ruled for harvesters. But complete 
reorganization cannot be effected until the majority of 
Lithuanians abroad have returned to participate in this 
task. In this connexion it must be said that already the 
Lithuanians in the United States, who number not far 
short of a million, and are nearly all well to do, have 
generously co-operated to help their less fortunate com- 
patriots in the homeland. More than one Lithuanian 
peasant owes the extinction of his mortgage to this source. 

The women have taken an active part in the national 
development. Notwithstanding numerous difficulties, 
many of them have studied medicine and dentistry and 
are nowadays successfully practising their profession. 
Their services have been recognized from the first, and 
it was regarded as a matter of course that with Lithuania's 
acquisition of independence women should enjoy the 
franchise together with men. 


ON the Eastern front Lithuanian territory was destined 
to bear the brunt of hostile attack, and in proportion to 
area and population no country has suffered more severely 
or made greater sacrifices ; and that, too, I regret to say, 
with less Allied recognition than Lithuania. 

Places like Kaunas, Gardinas, and Daugpilis were 
fortresses of the first rank, and as such naturally served 
as targets for the enemy's sledgehammer blows and as 
centres for the concentration of the Russian defence. 
Large bodies of troops were assembled in Lithuania and 
the country soon became one of the most important bases 
of operations. Owing to the slowness and insufficiency of 
means of transport, the Russian General Staff was obliged to 
requisition supplies on the spot for the needs of the Russian 
armies. More frequently than otherwise all these things, 
grain, horses, cattle, groceries, and raw materials of 
all kinds were confiscated without payment, so that 
early in the war the inhabitants were denuded of almost 
everything they possessed, not by the Germans but by 
their so-called protectors. As a typical example, in the 
village of Leipalingis the Russians seized 2,000 horses 
without any payment and left only two. 

During the Russian offensive in East Prussia the Lithu- 
anian provinces suffered terribly. Flourishing towns 
and villages were completely destroyed by artillery fire. 
Fifteen thousand persons, the majority Lithuanians, were 
deported by the Russians into the interior of the country, 
the brilliant idea underlying this policy being to leave 
the advancing Germans nothing but a desert. The first 
German advance into Lithuania took place in the autumn 


of 1914, when for the first time the Russians were driven 
out of East Prussia. At this time the districts of Suvalkai 
were mainly affected. Towards the end of 1914 some 
districts of the government of Kaunas, Taurage, Naumiestis, 
Palanga, and others shared the same fate. At the end 
of the winter of 1914-15 the Russian advance was again 
halted and the Russians after the battles of the Mazunan 
Lakes with heavy losses were compelled to fall back 
behind the Lithuanian boundaries. Later the German 
advance continued in the Suvalkai government, where, 
for six months, desperate fighting took place. In May 
the Germans succeeded in penetrating into Samogitia 
and Kurland. The banks of the Venta and Dubysa, 
behind which the enemy forces had entrenched themselves, 
were the scene of violent engagements, since the Russians 
did not yield ground without offering desperate resistance. 
At the beginning of July considerable German forces 
opened the attack on Kaunas, which was taken on August 
18th. The Russians, entrenched in the region of the 
lakes, on the Kaunas- Vilnius road, made resolute efforts 
to protect the Lithuanian capital from capitulation ; 
but Vilnius fell on September 8th. The Russians were 
pursued as far as Smurgainiai (Smorgon), where a fierce 
artillery duel caused the destruction of the town. 

In the autumn of 1915 mobile operations gave place 
to positional warfare, and up to the peace of Brest- 
Litovsk the situation of the two armies changed very 

Lithuania was speedily devastated. At the outset, as 
we have shown, she had to satisfy the requirements of 
the Russians for, as ill luck would have it, the German 
offensive coincided with the harvest season. During 
their retreat the Russians destroyed everything which 
they were unable to remove, with the result that the 
output of an entire year's hard work was lost to the 
inhabitants. Fighting raged all over Lithuania for 
several months, and artillery fire above all caused whole- 
sale devastation. The western districts of Kaunas and 
Suvalkai in many places resembled a desert. The towns 
of Kalvarija, Kibartai, Sirvintai, Naumiestis, Sudarga, 



To face p. 76. 


Sakiai, Siauliai, Jurbarkas, Taurage, Kretinga, Gagzdai, 
and others were burnt or otherwise reduced to ruins. 

The region of the Nemunas (Niemen), where the fortresses 
of Kaunas, Alytus, and Gardinas were situated, offered 
a frightful spectacle of destruction. In the parish of 
Kalvarija alone fourteen large villages with their estates 
were entirely obliterated. In the Liubavas parish only 
two or three houses were left. Many market towns were 
also destroyed, including Prienai, Simnas, Serijai, Drus- 
kininkai, and Liskeve. At Trakiskiai, of 56 estates one only 
was left intact ; at Dievogalas one out of 52 ; at Silahai 
and Pariecius one out of 40 ; while at Padainupis all 
were wiped out. Three-quarters of the town of Siauhai 
were destroyed by fire, and this flourishing industrial 
centre of 80,000 inhabitants counts now only a few 
thousands. In the same neighbourhood, where there 
was much fighting, the majority of the villages, market 
towns, and farms were laid waste. 

The western part of the Vilnius government and the 
district of Ezerenai (Zarasai) in the Kaunas government 
fared no better. These regions suffered severely under 
the tactics of the retreating Russians. Villages and farms 
were given to the flames, machinery and implements 
were earned off, and unspeakable miseries began for the 
inhabitants of these desolated areas. 

This mania for destruction did not spare the churches, 
twenty-five of which were badly damaged. In many 
places these edifices were bombarded during divine service, 
and old men, women and children who had sought refuge 
therein* were buried beneath the ruins Even at Kaunas, 
the celebrated church constructed by Vytautas the Great, 
which had been converted into an Orthodox temple by 
the Russians, was badly shattered, and the Church of the 
Dominicans partially wrecked. Since the war, therefore, 
very heavy financial burdens have devolved upon the 
faithful in making good all this damage. 

What with the inevitable devastation wrought by 
gunfire, and the deliberate plundering of so-called friends 
and open foes, Lithuania in the wake of the war was 
reduced to little better than a desert. The countryside, 


through lack of working hands, wore a wild and savage 
aspect. According to the testimony of Dr. Bartuska, 
who visited the country as an American delegate, Lithuania 
at that time seemed entirely ruined. He stated that 
he had called upon many ecclesiastics whose houses 
had been rifled literally of everything portable by the 
various passing troops. In the Suvalkai government, 
owing to the destruction of houses, the inhabitants were 
forced to dwell in the abandoned trenches. 

In Kaunas province 144 mills were razed to the ground ; 
in Vilnius 235 ; in Suvalkai 87. The lot of the urban 
workers was no more enviable than that of the peasant. 
Hungry and poorly clad, they eked out a miserable sub- 
sistence, a constant prey to typhus, dysentery, influenza, 
and other maladies. Doctors and medicine were totally 
inadequate to meet the needs of the country. Unlike 
Belgium, Lithuania did not benefit from the liberal aid 
extended by the United States and Spain. 

When, in accordance with the inhuman Russian policy, 
thousands of Lithuanian adults had to leave the country, 
entire families were broken up. The peasants first sought 
refuge in the towns, but were moved on farther by the 
Russian soldiery. Parents had thus to abandon their 
children, and were themselves transported into Russia 
in cattle trucks* At Vilnius, for example, thousands 
of children ran about the streets vainly seeking their 
parents. The Central Lithuanian Committee subsequently 
placed them in orphanages.' But these institutions were 
without funds necessary to provide proper nourishment 
for the children, meat and milk being particularly scarce. 

Meet objects of pity also were the Lithuanian civil 
and military prisoners. More than 30,000 Lithuanian 
soldiers were made prisoners in Germany and Austria, 
besides which the Germans seized 5,000 civilians as 
hostages as a reprisal for the behaviour of the Russians 
who, when evacuating East Prussia, had driven out 
15,000 of the inhabitants, of whom quite half were also 
Lithuanians. The majority of these prisoners consisted 
of old men, women and children. 

Very often civilians were thus carried oft without cause 


and merely on suspicion. The Lithuanian Aid Committee 
of Lausanne is in possession of authentic documents 
which show that sometimes enceinte women were torn 
from the bosom of their families, whilst women and 
children perished from hunger through the loss of the 
male bread-winners. 

Thanks to the initiative of a priest named Strikas and 
a teacher named Velykas, who were among the prisoners 
at the Holzminden camp, a school for Lithuanian children 
was opened in the camp under their direction. 

The majority of the military and civil prisoners received 
nothing from their families, as the latter were utterly 
unable to send them help. Even to-day many Lithuanians 
are in ignorance of what has become of their relatives. 
Besides the moral suffering inseparable from prolonged 
captivity, far from home and without news of their families, 
these unfortunates had also to endure terrible physical 
privations. The situation of the children was particularly 
lamentable ; many of them died through lack of proper 
care and food suitable to their years. 

Praiseworthy efforts were made to lighten the sufferings 
of these unfortunates. The Lithuanians who remained 
in the occupied territories organized the Lithuanian 
Committee for the succour of war refugees, which is still 
functioning ; but its usefulness has been restricted by 
insufficient funds. 

A similar committee in Russia Proper has had very 
extended activity. It established 175 branches, 293 
schools, 84 workshops, and a large number of asylums 
and pensions capable of receiving 1,500 pupils. During 
three years it spent thirty-four million roubles. Through 
the efforts of this committee similar organizations were 
created at Stockholm and Copenhagen, the latter of 
which has been successful in ameliorating the lot of many 
Lithuanian prisoners of war Further help has been 
given by the BBspano-Lithuanian committee founded 
in 1916 at Barcelona. 

Work undertaken in the United States has also been of 
considerable service to Lithuania. Congress decided to 
organize for November 1, 1916, a "Lithuanian Day," 


which was supported by a sympathetic appeal from 
President Wilson. A public collection on All Saints* 
Day produced more than a million francs, and this generous 
subscription proved of great value in extending the sphere* 
of aid. 

The Pope further co-operated in this commendable 
work. As far back as 1915 he personally contributed 
20,000 lire to the Lithuanians, and he ordered for May 20, 
1917 a collection in the churches for the same purpose. 
Although collections had previously been made on behalf 
of Poland and Belgium, a sum of 1,200,000 francs was 
raised. Switzerland served as intermediary between the 
various committees of Lithuanian aid, for it was at 
Lausanne that the Executive Committee for the organiza- 
tion of the world collection and the Central Committee 
of Lithuanian succour for the victims of the war had their 
headquarters. The former busied itself with the organiza- 
tion of the world collection ordered by the Pope, and 
the distribution of the amounts so raised. 

The Central Committee of succour styled " Lithuania " 
was established at Fnbourg on November 7, 1915. Its 
statutes were drafted in conformity with the Swiss Civil 
Code and were approved by the Government* The 
Committee operated in conjunction with the committees 
of Barcelona and Copenhagen. The first annual report 
showed 17,000 francs receipts and 13,000 francs ex- 
penditures, and the second 200,000 francs receipts and 
50,000 francs expenditures. Up to November 1917 
Switzerland, herself badly in need of food, could not 
permit the export of the latter in large quantities ; later, 
10,000 and 15,000 francs monthly were disbursed for 
the despatch of foodstuffs. An American named Wood 
presented 25,000 dollars worth of clothing, but this gift 
could not be imported into Europe owing to the war. 

With the German military occupation of Lithuania it 
became necessary to give the country a new organization, 
the old one having disappeared with the retreating Russian 
armies. The new administration was formed by Marshal 
Hmdenburg in August 1915 ; its headquarters were 
at Tilze (Tilsit), and it embraced a portion of the Kaunas 


and Suvalkai governments. At the head of this adminis- 
tration was placed Prince Isenburg. After the conquest 
of new parts of Lithuania by the Germans, the military 
government transferred its seat to Kaunas in April 1916, 
and there assumed the name of the Vilnius-Suvalkai 
Military Administration. The limits of this administration 
were again extended by a decree of Marshal Prince Leopold 
of Bavaria, who, as Governor-General of the East, in 
April 1917 removed his headquarters to Vilnius, This 
enlarged jurisdiction was styled the Military Administra- 
tion of Lithuania. It formed merely part of an administra- 
tion which extended from the Gulf of Riga to the line 
Brest-Litovsk Warsaw comprising a territory of 212,000 
square kilometres known as Ober-Ost. The authorities 
assigned to Lithuania constituted a central and district 

The central administration was divided into a central 
department, a department of justice, an economic depart- 
ment, a forestry department, and a department of commerce 
and raw-materials. Each of these departments dealt 
with matters that could not be entrusted to the district 
administrations. The central administration had at its 
disposal the military gendarmerie, which had groups 
at Vilnius, Kaunas, Panevezys and Siauliai. In addition, 
under the central administration, functioned an Imperial 
Commissary of the Committee of War Indemnities* la 
all, the personnel of this administration numbered 4,000 
soldiers, without counting some twenty commissariat 
companies and several engineering units* 

To the central administration were subordinated two 
urban districts and 32 rural districts, with an area varying 
from 1,500 to 4,000 square kilometres. These districts 
were administered by captains, with the assistance of 
other officials, i.e. a steward, justice of the peace, a district 
doctor, commissariat officers, a military detachment 
and a company of military gendarmerie. 

The districts were divided into sub-districts administered 
by prefects, who were usually officers of commissariat. 
They were helped by a staff and a detachment of covering 



The Central Forestry Department had divided the 
country into seventeen military inspectorates, the super- 
intendence of each of which was assumed by a Chief 
Inspector of Forests. For inspection of schools the 
country was divided into eight districts, at the head of 
each of which was an inspector. 

The Department of Justice of Vilnius had three district 
tribunals in the country (Vilnius, Kaunas and Suvalkai). 
To the Kaunas tribunal were subordinated 21 peace 
circuits ; the Vilnius and Suvalkai tribunals each had 
seven of these. 

Upon the military authorities of Vilnius devolved the 
administration of the country. While the Eastern front 
existed, a purely military administration was necessary 
for the security of military transport and the rear of 
the army fighting against Russia. Much also was done 
to ensure the proper sanitation and health of the troops ; 
very little similar solicitude was exhibited on behalf 
of the civilian population. 

Lithuania suffered greatly from the German occupation. 
Enormous quantities of timber were removed from the 
country. The forests bordering the lakes, roads, and 
rivers were almost completely razed to the ground. Many 
long years and vast sums of money will be necessary 
to restore these devastated regions. In the same manner 
the land was denuded of horses and cattle through constant 
requisitioning not only for the needs of the army of occupa- 
tion but for purposes of export to Germany. The value 
of this form of loot, reckoned at the present exchange, 
would run into billions of marks. True the authorities 
of occupation nominally paid for these requisitions, not 
in money, however, but in exchequer bills with which 
the peasants' coffers were congested, but which were 
devoid of all practical utility. Many of these bills bore 
inscriptions injurious to the bearer, of whose ignorance 
of German the donors took advantage. A favourite 
sentiment was : " The bearer of this bill is condemned 
to a hundred blows " ; another ran : " The bearer is a 
fool and, should he complain, should be put in prison." 
Nor were these merely idle pleasantries ; on the contrary, 


they were often carried into execution, and many peasants 
were forcibly incorporated into the labour battalions. 

Much could be written about the efforts of the military 
administration to Germanize the country. A beginning 
was made with the names of places and families. Suvalkai 
became Suwalken ; Kaunas, Kaunen ; Sirvintas, Schir- 
windt ; Khkeli Iflickeln, etc. The theatres played only 
German pieces, and the cinematographs showed only 
German films. 

German papers made their appearance in great number, 
among them being the Zeitung der 10 Armle, the Liebesgabe, 
Kownoer Zeitung, Wilnaer Zeitung, Libauerzeitung, Zeitung 
von Grodno, Nachrichten von Suwalki, Bialistocker Zeitung. 
In Lithuanian Dabartis was printed at the rate of 20,000 
copies daily. Lithuanian papers proper were not viewed 
with any favour by the authorities, and Viltis&nA. Lietuvos 
fainios were suppressed. A complaint submitted to 
Berlin by a delegation of the Lithuanian National Council 
in the United States brought no amelioration. To appease 
the literary hunger of the Lithuanians sheets like Laisve 
(Freedom), and Laisva Lietuva (Free Lithuania) were 
hectographed and spread broadcast. The Kvailas Prusas 
(Stupid Prussian) was issued as a satirical journal, the 
editor and readers of which the German authorities vainly 
tried to discover. The barristers Jonas Vileisis and Jami- 
laitis, suspected of collaboration in this paper, were arrested 
and interned in Germany. Many other Lithuanians on 
similar suspicion were also detained for a long time in 

In the newly-organized schools the German language 
was introduced as a compulsory subject from the first 
year. When, too, in June 1918 the Vilnius teachers 
opposed an increase in the hours for German their schools 
were closed. 

These efforts at Germanization were the natural outcome 
of the German policy as a whole, which insisted upon the 
necessity, from military, political and economic considera- 
tions, of annexing Lithuania to Germany. In the light 
of these aims one can understand why the German Govern- 
ment did not abolish the Ober-Qst administration even 


The Central Forestry Department had divided the 
country into seventeen military inspectorates, the super- 
intendence of each of which was assumed by a Chief 
Inspector of Forests. For inspection of schools the 
country was divided into eight districts, at the head of 
each of which was an inspector. 

The Department of Justice of Vilnius had three district 
tribunals in the country (Vilnius, Kaunas and Suvalkai). 
To the Kaunas tribunal were subordinated 21 peace 
circuits; the Vilnius and Suvalkai tribunals each had 
seven of these. 

Upon the military authorities of Vilnius devolved the 
administration of the country. While the Eastern front 
existed, a purely military administration was necessary 
for the security of military transport and the rear of 
the army fighting against Russia. Much also was done 
to ensure the proper sanitation and health of the troops ; 
very little similar solicitude was exhibited on behalf 
of the civilian population. 

Lithuania suffered greatly from the German occupation. 
Enormous quantities of timber were removed from the 
country. The forests bordering the lakes, roads, and 
rivers were almost completely razed to the ground. Many 
long years and vast sums of money will be necessary 
to restore these devastated regions. In the same manner 
the land was denuded of horses and cattle through constant 
requisitioning not only for the needs of the army of occupa- 
tion but for purposes of export to Germany. The value 
of this form of loot, reckoned at the present exchange, 
would run into billions of marks. True the authorities 
of occupation nominally paid for these requisitions, not 
in money, however, but in exchequer bills with which 
the peasants* coffers were congested, but which were 
devoid of all practical utility. Many of these bills bore 
inscriptions injurious to the bearer, of whose ignorance 
of German the donors took advantage. A favourite 
sentiment was : " The bearer of this bill is condemned 
to a hundred blows " ; another ran : " The bearer is a 
fool and, should he complain, should be put in prison." 
Nor were these merely idle pleasantries ; on the contrary, 


they were often carried into execution, and many peasants 
were forcibly incorporated into the labour battalions. 

Much could be written about the efforts of the military 
administration to Germanize the country* A beginning 
was made with the names of places and families. Suvalkai 
became Suwalken ; Kaunas, Kaunen ; Sirvintas, Schir- 
windt ; Khkeli Klickeln, etc. The theatres played only 
German pieces, and the cinematographs showed only 
German films. 

German papers made their appearance in great number, 
among them being the Zeitung der 10 Arm&e, the Liebesgabe, 
Kownoer Zeitung, Wilnaer Zeitung, Libauerzeitung, Zeitung 
von Grodno, Nachrichten von Suwalki, Bialistocker Zeitung. 
In Lithuanian Dabartis was printed at the rate of 20,000 
copies daily. Lithuanian papers proper were not viewed 
with any favour by the authorities, and Viltis and Lietuvos 
fainios were suppressed* A complaint submitted to 
Berlin by a delegation of the Lithuanian National Council 
in the United States brought no amelioration. To appease 
the literary hunger of the Lithuanians sheets like Laisve 
(Freedom), and Laisva Lietuva (Free Lithuania) were 
hectographed and spread broadcast. The Kvailas Prusas 
(Stupid Prussian) was issued as a satirical journal, the 
editor and readers of which the German authorities vainly 
tried to discover. The barristers Jonas Vileisis and Janu- 
laitis, suspected of collaboration in this paper, were arrested 
and interned in Germany. Many other Lithuanians on 
similar suspicion were also detained for a long time in 

In the newly-organized schools the German language 
was introduced as a compulsory subject from the first 
year. When, too, in June 1918 the Vilnius teachers 
opposed an increase in the hours for German their schools 
were closed. 

These efforts at Germanization were the natural outcome 
of the German policy as a whole, which insisted upon the 
necessity, from military, political and economic considera- 
tions, of annexing Lithuania to Germany. In the light 
of these aims one can understand why the German Govern- 
ment did not abolish the Obex-Ost administration even 


after the peace of Brest-Litovsk, when a state of -war 
with Russia ceased to exist. On this subject responsible 
Lithuanians addressed petitions and energetic protests 
to the German Government. The Eastern front fell 
in February 1918, but the military command continued, 
and the free and independent Lithuanian State was still 
subjected to military control. In January 1918 Prince 
Isenburg retired from his post as Administrator of 
Lithuania* The pan-German papers congratulated him on 
the successful discharge of his mission, and the university 
of Fnbourg-en-Brisgau conferred upon him the title of 
doctor honoris causa for services rendered to the German 


THE great Vilnius Diet of 1905 marked an epoch in the 
reawakened national consciousness of the Lithuanian 
people. It exacted at least a verbal recognition of 
autonomy from Russia, though, as we have seen, the 
concessions ostensibly granted were realized only in part* 
During the years that followed, however, the great progress 
of Lithuanian culture served still more to strengthen 
the national sentiment. The Lithuanian people more 
imperatively than ever demanded freedom, and a repetition 
of the events of 1905 could not have been far off when 
the war broke out in 1914. The Lithuanians were not 
slow to understand that the moment had come to present 
their claims anew. 

The Lithuanians in the United States have always 
displayed considerable activity in everything concerning^ 
their native land. So in this case they were the first 
to make themselves heard when from October 21 to 23, 
1914, in Chicago, they convened a national congress which 
was attended by three hundred delegates. The gathering 
declared itself in favour of the reorganization of the 
Lithuanian State in conformity with the principle of 
self-determination. Further, this State was to be in- 
dependent of Poland, and besides the Lithuanian territory 
of Russia was to embrace the Lithuanian region of East 
Prussia and the Suvalkai government. The Lithuanian 
Bureau of Information in Paris was entrusted with the 
task of diffusing knowledge of Lithuania among the general 
public. Moreover, J. Gabrys was commissioned to treat 
with the belligerents on behalf of Lithuania. A national 
fund was created to cover all expenses in this connexion. 


In America a national council was established for the 
protection of Lithuanian interests. This council repre- 
sented all Lithuanian organizations, those of the latter 
numbering more than a thousand members nominating 
one delegate and those with over five thousand members 
two delegates each* The American Lithuanians followed 
events in Europe with keen attention, more particularly 
in the Motherland, and held themselves in readiness to 
intervene should a favourable opportunity offer itself. 

In the wake of America the Lithuanian colony in the 
neutral countries of Europe laboured ceaselessly for the 
promotion of national aspirations. Thus on August 3 
and 4, 1915, the first Berne conference was held. This 
assembly was of exceptional importance as affording 
occasion for the formulation of Lithuanian demands for 
a free and independent State, in the Mowing terms : 

1. The Lithuanians and the Letts form, in the great family of 
Indo-European peoples, a parallel branch not subordinate to that 
of the Germans and the Slavs. To the number of seven millions 
they occupy a territory of 250,000 square kilometres situated 
between Russia and Germany, on the shores of the Baltic Sea, 
in the basins of the Nemunas and Dauguva (Dvma). 

2. The Lithuanian people occupy, by reason of their intellectual 
culture^ the first rank among the peoples subject to Russia. 

3. The Lithuanian State extended, from the Xlllth to the 
XVItfa. century, from the Baltic to the Black Sea and rendered 
great service to the rest of Europe in its struggle against the Tartars. 

A few days later, August 30, 1915, -the Lithuanians 
demanded their independence from the Russian Duma. 
The Lithuanian deputy, Januskevicius, in a memorable 
speech traced the material and moral sufferings endured 
by the Lithuanian people. He closed his remarks with 
this appeal : " Come to the aid of our unhappy country, 
and give us the assurance that our just demand for 
national autonomy will be fulfilled. 55 

This was the second time that the Lithuanian question 
had come before the Russian Duma. Previously, in 
August 1914, a Lithuanian deputy, Mr. Yeas, from Kaunas, 
had spoken in favour of autonomy and the annexation of 
Prussian Lithuania to Russian Lithuania* 


Lithuania was represented at the congress of oppressed 
nationalities held at Lausanne in February 1916. Here 
the Lithuanian delegates made the following declaration : 

The issue of the war is uncertain. Whatever it may be, Lithu- 
ania does not wish to return to political servitude or to revert to 
a situation which would permit Russia or Germany to impose 
their yoke upon the country. A tree Lithuanian people occupying 
the entire national territory, and having free political, intellectual, 
and economic development such are the demands of the Lithu- 
anians of all parties. 

This declaration clearly expressed the end proposed 
by the Lithuanians ; it was articulated still more clearly 
at an exclusively Lithuanian assembly which took place 
at The Hague ; here the Lithuanians, conscious of their 
rights, acted on their own initiative* 

Shortly afterwards, from March 1-5, 1916, Lithuanian 
delegates from Lithuania, the United States and Switzer- 
land, assembled for the second time at Berne to discuss 
the situation in Lithuania which was then under German 
military occupation. This conference pronounced in 
favour of the organization of a free and independent 
Lithuanian State, and justified its demand as follows : 

1* Lithuania was for many centuries an independent 

2. The Lithuanian people have never ceased to demand 
their lost liberty. 

3. Lithuania possesses a very clear ethnographic 
character, and a national culture, and she forms a distinct 
political organism. 

4. Only an independent Lithuanian Government will 
be able to repair the immense damage which the War has 
caused to Lithuania. 

5. The creation of a free and independent Lithuania 
will favour the establishment of a durable peace, 

6. At the outbreak of the War the Allies proclaimed the 
liberation of oppressed nationalities as the object of the War. 

7. The German Government also, through the Imperial 
Chancellor, has declared that the German troops have 
** delivered " Lithuania. 

The delegates further declared that the alliance between 


Lithuania and Poland had been ipso facto and juridically 
abolished through the partitions of the two countries 
among Prussia, Austria and Russia in 1772 and 1795, 
and that the Lithuanian people desired to be masters 
within their ethnographic boundaries and protested against 
any encroachment on their rights by Poland. 

The latter portion of this declaration was inspired by the 
consideration that the Poles were representing Lithuania 
as a Polish province ; that the Poles wished to usurp 
the legitimate rights of the Lithuanians ; and that they 
were everywhere posing as the representatives of Lithu- 
anian rights. 

Moreover, it was declared that the university of Vilnius, 
which the Poles pretended to regard as a Polish institution, 
was actually Lithuanian. Founded in the capital of 
the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the university of Vilnius 
wished to become again Lithuanian, while respecting 
the rights of national minorities. 

Lithuanian conferences succeeded each other almost 
uninterruptedly. That held at The Hague from April 
25th to 30th had considerable importance ; the resolutions 
there adopted have the value of a programme of action. 
The representatives of the Lithuanian people declared 
that Lithuania, after having escaped from Russian domina- 
tion, did not wish to exchange its reconquered independ- 
ence for a fresh yoke. This resolution was based upon the 
following considerations : 

1. Russia oppressed Lithuania during one hundred and 
twenty years (since 1795) ; had despoiled her of her name 
and in lieu thereof had given her the style of " North- 
West Russia." 

2. The national administration and the Lithuanian 
Statute have been set aside and in their stead foreign 
institutions have been imposed upon the country. 

3. The Russian Government has suppressed the uni- 
versity of Vilnius (1831), closed the schools, and persecuted 
the Lithuanian language and literature. 

4s. The Russian Government has done great damage 
also to the Catholic Church ; in persecuting Catholics , 
it has not recoiled before the spilling of blood* 


5. Under barbarous governors (Muraviev the Hang- 
man, for example) the country has suffered a setback 
of half a century at least in the development of its 

6. The forty years' prohibition of printing (1864-1904) 
grievously injured the country, notwithstanding which 
the intellectual level is higher than in Russia (52 per cent, 
of the population can read and write, whereas the propor- 
tion in Russia is only 29 per cent.). 

7. Besides the robbery of her culture Lithuania has 
also had to endure that of her soil which the Lithuanians 
by their labours of several centuries have rendered fertile. 

8. Since the beginning of the War some hundreds of 
thousands of Lithuanians have fought in the Russian 
army ; despite this, Russia has not promised to the Lithu- 
anians the political autonomy which she has accorded 
to the Poles. 

9. During their retreat the Russian troops massacred 
young and old in the country and carried off thousands 
of Lithuanians. 

At this time two different opinions were entertained 
by Lithuanians regarding the future of their country. 
One party desired an autonomous Lithuania under a 
Russian protectorate, whereas the other, and the more 
numerous, demanded complete independence. In the 
long run the latter won the day. To promote their 
object all the political parties of Lithuania and of the 
Lithuanian colonies abroad created a High National 
Council upon which devolved the duty of representing 
the Lithuanian people in all matters concerning the 
country. This Council chose Switzerland as its domicile 
so as to enjoy the necessary freedom for the exercise of 
its activities, which soon became greatly extended. For 
some time previously there had existed at Paris a 
Lithuanian Bureau of Information which was now trans- 
ferred to Lausanne, where it entered upon a new sphere 
of usefulness. 

The Lithuanian deputies had formerly demanded auto- 

.nomy from the Duma. With the fall of the Tsarist 

Government the situation changed ; the many Lithuanians 


who had been deported from their own country into 
Russia by the Russian troops began to concern them- 
selves vigorously with the future of their native land. 
In June 1917 they convoked a special conference at 
St. Petersburg, This was attended by three hundred 
authorized delegates, besides some two thousand other 
Lithuanians who were present by invitation as an auditory. 
The congress adopted a resolution which, in its general 
outline, coincided with that passed some weeks later by 
the Lithuanian Diet at Vilnius. But a minority of the 
Left, composed for the most part of Socialists, quitted 
the conference to hold a meeting of their own which 
assumed the style of " democratic/ 5 and passed a resolution 
differing somewhat from that of the general congress. 
This schism somewhat hampered the political action of 
the Lithuanians in Russia, and in the party of the Left 
hostile groups were speedily formed which fought among 
themselves. Unity of aim was thus impaired. In this 
emergency the Lithuanians of Russia decided to convoke 
an assembly of their compatriots from both Lithuania 
and the colonies at Stockholm. 

The next really epochal event in the history of the 
struggle for independence was the Diet of Vilnius which 
sat from September 18 to 22, 1917, attended by two 
hundred and twenty delegates. Owing to the German 
occupation of the country it proved impossible to choose 
the delegates through a general vote, but they were all 
prominent and well-known men, representatives of the 
various parties, classes and professions. This Diet was 
therefore a faithful organ of the Lithuanian people. The 
most important work of this Diet was the election of a 
National Council (Taryba) and the adoption of an historic 
resolution. The latter reads as follows : 

1. In order that Lithuania may be able freely to develop it is 
necessary to make the country an independent State, based upon 
democratic principles and having ethnographical frontiers which 
shall take into consideration the interests of economic life. 

The national minorities of Lithuania shall be given every 
guarantee for their cultural needs. 

In order to ftx definitively the bases of independent Lithuania 


and her relations with neighbouring countries, there shall be 
convoked at Vilnius a Constituent Assembly elected in conformity 
with democratic principles by all the inhabitants of Lithuania. 

2, If, before negotiations for a general peace are entered into, 
Germany should declare herself ready to recognize the Lithuanian 
State and to defend Lithuanian interests in the peace negotiations, 
the Lithuanian conference would then admit the possibility for 
the future Lithuanian State of entertaining with Germany relations 
which remain to be determined, but which shall not prejudice the 
free development of Lithuania. The conference makes this 
declaration in consideration of the fact that the interests of 
Lithuania, in normal times, are rather in the direction of the West 
than the East or South. 

In the election of a National Council the conference 
gave evidence of considerable political ability. Although, 
for example, the Catholic Nationalist Party possessed a 
large majority in the Diet, it welcomed representatives 
from the Left, two Catholic Democrats already elected 
actually retiring to make room for two Socialists. The 
special aim of the Diet was to form a Council which should 
be truly representative of the entire country. Four 
ecclesiastics, several landed proprietors, lawyers, professors, 
peasants and workers were elected. The total member- 
ship of this Taryba was twenty, consisting of the following 
prominent Lithuanians : Dr. J. Basanavicius, M. Bir- 
ziska, S. Banaitis, H Bizauskas, Pr. Dovydaitis, St. 
Kairys, P. Klimas, D. Malinauskas, Doyen Mironas, 
S. Narutowicz, Petrulis, Dr. A. Smetona, X Smilgevieius, 
J. Staugaitis, A* Stulginskas, Dr. J. Saulys, K. Saulys, 
J. Vailokaitis, J. Sernas, Dr. Jonas Vileisis. The 
Vilnius Diet of 1917 recalled the tradition of the great 
Diet of 1905, and all subsequent conferences have worked 
on the lines foreshadowed by this historic gathering. 

On the i initiative of many Lithuanians from Russia, 
the Stockholm conference assembled from October 18 
to 20, 1918, the Lithuanians from Russia being the most 
numerous. The Centre was strongly represented at this 
conference, whilst the extreme Eight and Left were 
comparatively weak. The Lithuanians of Switzerland 
and America also sent delegations. The conference 
received a report on events in Lithuania and on the 


Vilnius Diet of whose resolution it took cognizance and to 
which it declared its adhesion. 

About this time a third conference was held at Berne 
to elaborate, with the cooperation of the Taryba, a detailed 
programme of foreign and domestic policy. A delegation 
from the Taryba therefore attended, with President 
Smetona at its head. This assembly adopted a large 
number of decisions, of which the most important was 
one which declared adherence to the resolution of the 
Vilnius Diet recognizing the Taryba as a properly con- 
stituted organ of the Lithuanian people. The conference 
further adopted the national boundaries as fixed by the 
Vilnius Diet, embracing the former Russian governments 
of Vilnius, Kaunas, Suvalkai and Gardinas, and the 
district of Naugardukas (Novogrodek) in the government 
of Minsk. Vilnius, the ancient capital of the Lithuanian 
kingdom, was to be the federal capital. The conference 
also declared that a port on the Baltic was absolutely 
necessary to Lithuania for her economic development. 
On this occasion the Berne assembly discussed the opening 
of a national university at Vilnius and the suppression 
of the German language as a compulsory branch of study 
in the primary schools. 

The Lithuanian Taryba on December 11, 1917, first 
proclaimed the liberty and independence of Lithuania, 
but a more authoritative proclamation was that of 
February 16, 1918, which is now regarded as the official 
date. Inspired by very obvious ulterior motives Germany 
was the first foreign State to recognize Lithuanian in- * 
dependence de jure on March 24, 1918. In spite of this 
recognition, signed by the then Kaiser himself, the power- 
ful pan-Germanic Party subsequently made desperate 
efforts to effect the annexation of Lithuania to Germany, 
and failing that some sort of " personal " union first 
between Lithuania and Prussia and then between Lithu- 
ania and Saxony. All these efforts, however, were sternly 
resisted by the Lithuanians themselves who, with dearly 
bought knowledge of the disastrous consequences of the 
union with Poland, were in no hurry to repeat the ex- 
perience with Germany* In the course of this remarkable 



To face p. 92, 


struggle the Taryba, which meanwhile had assumed the 
title of State Council on July 11, 1918, with a view 
to checkmating German intrigues, actually proclaimed 
Lithuania a democratic monarchy and offered the crown 
to the Duke of Urach, a descendant of the ancient 
Lithuanian dynasty of Mindaugas. Fortunately for the 
future of the country this verbal pronouncement was 
never implemented in fact, and Lithuania has remained 
a republic. 

The Allied victory favoured the rapid development of 
events in favour of Lithuania. The Taryba adopted a 
provisional constitution ; a Directory of three members 
for the exercise of executive functions was appointed ; 
and Dr. A. Smetona served as the first President of the 
State Council, in this capacity officially representing the 
Lithuanian State until the supercession of the Taryba 
by a Constituent Assembly (Steigiamasis Seimas) on May 
15, 1920. But before that date Lithuania was doomed 
to undergo many vicissitudes. The Provisional Govern- 
ment had been established at Vilnius, but when the 
German front collapsed the Bolsheviks began to advance 
early in January 1919, and the Lithuanian administration 
had perforce to be removed to Kaunas, which, with a 
brief interlude in 1920, has since been the temporary 
capital of the State. 

Driven out of Vilnius, the representatives of the young 
Lithuanian State did not despair, but embarked vigorously 
upon the task of organizing an army, with such success 
that the further advance of the Soviet forces was checked, 
a severe defeat being inflicted upon them at Koshedari. 
In April 1919 the Lithuanian troops were closing in on 
Vilnius when the Polish army advancing from the direction 
of Lyda deliberately forestalled them and entered the 
town on April 20th of that year. To prevent an armed 
conflict between Lithuania and Poland the Supreme 
Command of the Allied and Associated Powers established 
a line of demarcation on April 26, 1919, which was promptly 
violated by the Poles, as also the second line laid down 
by Marshal Foch on July 27, 1919. 

As stated briefly above, the ofd* Taryba or State^Council, 


which had done such yeoman service, was superseded in 
May 1920 by the Constituent Assembly (Steigiamasis 
Seimas) elected on April 14th and 15th of the same year, 
by universal, equal, direct and secret suffrage, according 
to the system of proportional representation. Of the 
inhabitants who had attained their majority (twenty-one 
years) 85 per cent, took part in these elections ; in certain 
of the electoral districts the number of votes was as high 
as 92 per cent., thus plainly evidencing the high degree 
of political consciousness prevailing among all classes. 
Owing to the Polish occupation of Eastern Lithuania, 
the elections could be held only in twenty non-occupied 
districts. The electoral unit was one representative to 
about 15,000 inhabitants. There were elected in this 
way 112 representatives who, according to parties, are 
thus classified : 

Christian Democrats . . . . 59 

Social Populists . . . . ..29 

Social Democrats . . . . . . 13 

Jews . . . . .. . . . . 6 

lr oles . . * . . . . 3 

German . . . . . . . . 1 

Non-partizan . . . . . . 1 

As regards education, 58 of the foregoing (52 per cent.) 
have had a university education ; 25 (22 per cent.) secondary 
education; and 29 (25*5 per cent.) a primary education. 

The Constituent Assembly was convened at Kaunas 
on May 15, 1920. Its first act was to ratify the proclama- 
tion of the independence of the Republic of Lithuania. 
The Assembly recognized and approved all the acts of 
the Provisional Government, and having announced the 
republican form of government, elaborated the fundamental 
principles of the State Constitution. The Assembly also 
formed a fully authorized executive Government which 
took the place of the former provisional administration. 

As will be seen from the above list of parties the strongest 
numerically is the Christian Democratic Party, which has 
an absolute majority. It is recruited largely from the 


rural districts where religious influence is powerful, but 
also numbers adherents among the working classes of 
the towns. In the domain of domestic politics and social 
questions its tendencies are moderate. On the agrarian 
reform question, however, it supports the policy of dividing 
up the big estates to provide for the landless aud the 
insufficiently landed, soldiers more particularly, but 
recognizes the principle of compensation and private 

The Social Populists represent more or less the same 
elements of the nation as the Christian Democrats, but 
differ on religious questions. They favour nationalization 
through gradual evolution rather than through revolution. 
They are a thoroughly patriotic group. 

The Social Democrats are largely compounded of urban 
dwellers and industrial workers, and are advocates of 
socialization* In the assembly they form the opposition ; 
nevertheless in moments of crisis they cooperate with 
the other parties in work of positive organization. Be- 
tween them the Christian Democrats and Social Populists 
constitute a bloc disposing of 88 votes out of a total of 
112. It is understood that as soon as a definitive State 
Constitution can be drafted and agrarian reform completed 
(this has only just been announced February 1922), 
the present Constituent Assembly will deem its task 
accomplished and give place to an ordinary assembly 
or parliament, which will then be elected. 

Lithuania being essentially an agricultural country, as 
has been shown elsewhere, possessing a peasantry passion- 
ately attached to the land, Bolshevik propaganda has 
never stood the slightest chance of gaining a real hold 
upon the popular imagination. This fact was most 
strikingly shown during the contact between Lithuanian 
and Russian troops in Vilnius at the time of the joint 
occupation following the withdrawal of the Poles. The 
Soviet "Revkoms" (Revolutionary Committees) made 
desperate efforts to undermine the strong national feeling 
of the Lithuanian common soldier and by meetings and 
pamphlets appealed fervently to his " class consciousness/* 
but in vain. The native wit of the simple ranker was 


proof against these blandishments. Kipras, Juozas, Stasys 
and the rest had an inconvenient habit of contrasting their 
own well-clad and well-fed condition with the often 
dilapidated state of the Red Guardsman, with the result 
that the Lithuanian troops emerged from the ordeal 
rather more " boorzhui " than when they went into it. 
Superficial observers, profoundly ignorant of the real 
principles of Communism, have made the mistake of con- 
fusing popular insistence upon division and distribution of 
the big estates in the Baltic countries with "Bolshevism/* 
Of course it is nothing of the kind, but actually a move- 
ment in absolutely the reverse direction. True Communism 
denies the right of land-ownership, whereas no government 
in Lithuania which sought to abolish this right could hope 
to survive twenty-four hours. There could, in fact, be 
no better earnest of national stability and prosperous 
development than the manifestation of this very land 
hunger which guarantees to the country permanent 
sources of wealth. Elsewhere in these pages the latest 
available data on the attempt so far made to deal with 
agrarian problems are given, and the foregoing remarks 
are merely prompted by what has gone before. 


As largely an eye-witness of later events in Lithuania I 
feel entitled to speak with some authority about the 
unprecedented international scandal which, for the time 
being at least, has terminated in the triumph of Polish 
military might over Lithuanian right, without eliciting 
anything more effective than feeble verbal protests from 
the League of Nations to which the dispute was relegated 
for settlement. 

In May 1919 I was fortunate enough to be appointed 
secretary to the British Commission for the Baltic Provinces 
(sic) under its distinguished Commissioner, Colonel S. G. 
Tallents, C.B., C.B.E., with whom I travelled via Switzer- 
land, Austria, Czecho-Slovakia, Poland and Germany 
to Libau, Riga and Reval in the early summer of that 
year. During this period I participated in stirring incidents 
which do not properly form part of the present recital. 
It should be said, however, that on the occasion of a 
conference between Colonel Tallents and a Lithuanian 
ielegation at Libau in June 1919, I for the first time 
>egan regretfully to realize that the Poles, with whom 
iitherto I had ever sympathized in their picturesque 
struggle for freedom, were proving false to all their loudly 
taunted principles, and were indeed doing their best 
to extend to their weaker neighbours the self-same treat- 
ment from which they had only just succeeded in emanci- 
pating themselves with the indispensable aid of the Allies, 
This discovery was a bitter disillusionment, but I would 
not permit sentiment to weaken an objective judgment, 
and inasmuch as all subsequent first-hand knowledge 
has but served to ^crease the counts of my indictment 



against Poland, which dates from this moment, I have not 
the slightest hesitation in putting my name to this open 
confession of political faith. 

At the end of August 1919 1 was sent from Riga to Kaunas 
under Colonel R. B. Ward, A.F.C., R.A.R, to establish 
a branch of the British Commission at the temporary 
Lithuanian capital. Later, however, this branch was 
converted into a consulate, and Colonel Ward's appoint- 
ment as Acting British Consul for Lithuania by the 
Foreign Office synchronized with my own as Acting 
British Vice-Consul, a post which I held up to the early 
part of 1921, From this it will be clear that I enjoyed 
exceptional opportunities for gaining " inside " information 
of what was going on both openly and behind the scenes. 
Possessing a very sound knowledge of Russian, both 
written and spoken, to which I have since added a growing 
acquaintance with the fascinating Lithuanian tongue, 
it was easy for me to communicate direct with all the 
principal Lithuanian actors on the political stage during 
this period, totally dispensing with intermediaries. 

My own personal views of the merits of the Lithuanian- 
Polish controversy are fully shared by my former chief, 
Colonel Ward, as also by the various members of the 
British Military Mission then in Lithuania, who never 
overlooked an opportunity of investigating every 
"incident** between Poles and Lithuanians of which 
we had an over-supply during those strenuous times. 
In this context a remark once made to me by a former 
British Military Attache in Kaunas so aptly sums up the 
case against Poland that I cannot refrain from quoting 
it here. He said : " I am out to oppose Poland in Eastern 
Europe for much the same reasons that I opposed the 
Boche in Western Europe during the war, because the 
Poles as they now behave are the Prussians of Eastern 
Europe minus the Boche efficiency." I do not think it 
would be possible to express the sane, considered judg- 
ment of a typical British military man in fewer or 
more effective words. 

On July 12, 1920, the Lithuanian Government, with the 
entire approval of our own Foreign Office, concluded a 


Peace Treaty with Soviet Russia which gave Lithuania 
her ethnographic frontiers, with Vilnius as her capital. 
The Poles were then at war with Russia and in very bad 
case, for the Reds were rapidly advancing on Vilnius. 
It should be added that throughout this conflict Lithuania 
preserved the strictest neutrality, the mendacious charges 
of the Polish Government to the contrary having been 
entirely disproved by our own military investigators, and 
the Military Control Commission of the League of Nations, 

Conscious of the necessity for evacuating Vilnius under 
Bolshevik pressure the Polish High Command hurriedly 
resolved to invite the Lithuanian army to occupy the city 
in preference to the Reds. For this purpose one Colonel 
Rylski was sent to Kaunas early in July, and I had the 
good fortune to be present with Colonel R. B. Ward 
at the conference between him and the members of the 
Lithuanian General Staff, headed by Colonel Klescinskas, 
the Chief of Staff, and Colonel Zukas, the Lithuanian 
Minister of Defence, when the terms of this transfer were 
discussed. In accordance with the understanding thus 
arrived at, the Lithuanian forces moved forward with a 
view to forestalling the Red Army and entering Vilnius 
before them. Almost incredible as the sequel may seem 
to those even yet unfamiliar with the incorrigible treachery 
of the Polish official temperament, despite the express 
invitation and promise given, the Lithuanian echelons 
were suddenly attacked by the Poles near Vievis on 
July 14th, and although they succeeded in repulsing this 
totally unexpected onslaught, their advance was inevitably 
delayed some twenty-four hours, with the result that the 
Russians occupied Vilnius before them, 

The Lithuanians, however, entered the capital on the 
following day, July 15th, and for some days held the city 
in conjunction with the Russians, who eventually, in 
accordance with an agreement concluded between the 
two High Commands, withdrew and left Vilnius in sole 
possession of the Lithuanian authorities towards the end 
of August. 

The Bolsheviks had not been in the town twenty-four 
hours before, with their usual energy, they had started 


a daily paper for the spread of Communistic principles, 
and eloquent comrades from Moscow and Petersburg were 
promptly imported to give frequent lectures to the troops 
and citizens* Many of these lecture notices still adorned 
the walls of the city when we first entered it on the with- 
drawal of the Bolsheviks. The so-called " revkoms " 
or revolutionary committees also sprang up like mush- 
rooms overnight wherever the Soviet troops were quartered. 
I was subsequently told by Colonel 2ukas, the Lithuanian 
Minister for Defence, that so far from discouraging contact 
between Lithuanian and Russian troops during the period 
of joint occupation, he was entirely in favour of it as 
the simplest and cheapest form of anti-Bolshevik pro- 
paganda, because on comparing his own well-fed, well-clad 
and well-shod condition with the decidedly nondescript 
wardrobe and lean, hungry look of the average Red 
Guardsman, the Lithuanian Tommy felt less inclined than 
ever to interfere with the established order in his own 
little peasant republic. Apropos of this brief period 
of Russo-Lithuanian military intercourse, Colonel Zukas 
reported to me an actual conversation that once took 
place between a Lithuanian and a Russian soldier. Asked 
what he was fighting for the Lithuanian replied, "For 
my country.** ** For your country ? " the Russian 
echoed; "I'm fighting for something far better than 
that. I*m fighting for a programme I " 
- In due course the Lithuanian Government transferred 
its seat to Vilnius, all the foreign diplomatic missions 
and consulates removing at the same time. The British 
Consulate secured excellent quarters in one of the main 
thoroughfares, the well-known St. George's Boulevard, and 
the individual members of the Staff were just settling down 
to useful work and a reasonably comfortable e^ristence in 
this ancient and picturesque city, when a further manifes- 
tation of Polish faithlessness upset all their well-laid plans. 
It is or should be a matter of history that, according 
to the terms of the famous Suvalkai agreement, signed 
by the Lithuanian and Polish representatives on 
October 7, 1920, in the presence of the Military Control 
Commission of the League of Nations, Poland formally 


~*rr??T*?T ^ 


To face p. 100, 


recognized the validity of the Lithuanian occupation and 
provisional administration of the Vilna (Vilnius) region, 
including the city of that name. Yet not even this solemn 
written pledge could bind the Poles once they saw an 
opportunity of retrieving their position with the relaxation 
of the Bolshevik peril. They were perfectly willing to 
make use of the Lithuanians to serve their own ends, but 
equally ready to sacrifice them for the same motives. 
Hardly had the ink had time to dry on the Suvalkai agree- 
ment than Polish troops under the notorious General 
Zeligowski attacked Vilnius and occupied it on October 9th, 
just two days after the signature of the said agreement. 

Several days before this development signs were not 
wanting that something of the sort was in the wind, and 
great uneasiness prevailed among the inhabitants in con- 
sequence. It was in this emergency that Colonel R. B. 
Ward, the British Consul, anxious to allay the popular 
anxiety, undertook an aeroplane flight to Warsaw for the 
purpose of obtaining formal official assurances that the 
rumoured intentions of the Poles were unfounded. He 
had an interview with Prince Sapieha, the then Polish 
Minister for Foreign Affairs, and also with the Polish 
military authorities, who solemnly declared that the 
Polish Government had absolutely no intention of re- 
occupying Vilnius. Colonel Ward returned to the 
Lithuanian capital bearing these glad tidings which were 
iyjUy received, but their tranquillizing influence was 
not permitted to last long. 

So marked had become Polish military activity south 
of Vilnius that a mixed military delegation, consisting 
of the British Military Attach^, Major Pargiter, the 
French Captain Pujol, and the Latvian Consul Ozol, 
proceeded to Yachuny on October th in order to obtain 
from the Polish Command nearest to Vilnius an explanation 
of these movements. The members of this delegation, 
particularly Major Pargiter, were treated with scant 
courtesy by the Poles, and were forced to return to Vilnius 
with the report that the Poles denied all knowledge of 
the orders for a suspension of hostilities under the Suvalkai 
agreement and were awaiting instructions. The delegation 


itself tad no further doubt it was only a question of hours 
before the Poles would again be in Vilnius. I well remember 
a conversation which I had with Major Pargiter at the 
time, and he was very emphatic on the subject. 

Sure enough on October 8th, the day after the signature 
of the Suvalkai agreement, superior Polish forces launched 
an offensive from south to north against Vilnius, which 
at the time was defended by three Lithuanian battalions 
and one battery, which were quite inadequate to repel 
the Polish advance. The order for evacuation was therefore 
given and carried out on the night of the 8th. During 
the entire day and night a violent engagement developed 
south of the city. 

In this emergency, upon me devolved the disagreeable 
duty of leaving Vilnius by one of the last outgoing trains 
on the evening of the 8th, bearing with me, in addition 
to my own personal hand baggage, a bulky, sealed sack 
containing the British official ciphers. The train was 
packed and we had to travel in total darkness. The 
exodus from the doomed city was tremendous. The 
thousands of persons who could not possibly be carried 
by rail, sought safety in flight on foot, or in horse-drawn 
vehicles, for the most part in the direction of Kaunas. 
A very large proportion of these refugees were of course 
Jews, who knew full well the fate likely to overtake 
them if they were caught by the Polish soldiery. 

We ourselves arrived at Kaunas, after a long and tiring 
journey, in the small hours of the morning, and experienced 
great difficulty in obtaining any sort of accommodation 
for the night. I myself had paired off with an acquaintance 
who held a responsible official post and whose bona fides 
there seemed no reason to doubt. In fact, without his 
assistance, it would have been physically impossible to 
convey my belongings from the train to the congested 
horse tramcar which carried us from the station to the 
hotel, for needless to say no porters were available at 
such a time. I am happy now to bear unsolicited testimony 
to the great kindness and perfect loyalty of this particular 
individual, for the simple reason that he was subsequently 
found to be a Bolshevik agent who, in the ordinary way* 


would have been only too ready to filch the official secrets 
of a foreign State hostile to his employers. It is true 
that I took every possible precaution against this sort 
of interference* but amidst the confusion and Cimmerian 
darkness of this sudden departure from Vilnius it would 
have been the simplest thing imaginable, had he been 
so minded, to relieve me of both my personal and official 
possessions without exposing himself to any danger of 
detection. I must perforce conclude, therefore, that a 
certain measure of personal regard for me was responsible 
for his welcome restraint* 

Some days after these events, the various foreign 
missions, including the remainder of the British consular 
staff, were evacuated from Vilnius by a special train for 
the despatch of which, under the protection of the Control 
Commission of the League of Nations, I was fortunately 
able to arrange with the Lithuanian General Staff. 

On October 19th I myself returned to Vilnius in the 
capacity of special correspondent for a certain London 
paper, to ascertain the exact position of affairs. Owing 
to the fighting then in progress between the forces of 
the legitimate Lithuanian Government again established 
at Kaunas, and those of the so-called Central Lithuanian 
Government, controlled by General Zeligowski* it was 
impossible to travel by the more direct route via Vilkomir, 
and I therefore drove through Preny, Olita and Orany 
in the neighbourhood of which I passed the last Lithuanian 
outposts. I made the trip under abnormally difficult 
conditions. Direct communication had of course ceased, 
and had it not been for the lucky chance that Mr. S. B. 
Kaufman of the American Joint Distribution Commission 
wished to return to Vilnius on business connected with 
his committee and kindly placed his Ford car at my 
disposal, there would have been scant likelihood of ray 
securing transport* 

I found Vilnius little changed outwardly since I left 
it in such a hurry. There were comparatively few troops 
to be seen in the city itself, the majority being at the 
front. Superficially life seemed to be running in normal 
channels, but further investigation led to considerable 


modification of this impression. From non-Polish in- 
habitants I ascertained that since the Polish occupation 
there had been 9 murders and 104 armed robberies. 
Seven of these murdered victims were Jews, but two 
were sons of a Russian priest and had been shot in cold 
blood by armed robbers. I found all the Jewish residences 
strongly barricaded, so that one had to effect an entry 
by the back staircases ; and regular watches had been 
established, the male inmates keeping guard duty through- 
out the night. Nobody ventured out after sundown. 
One evening, I was told, a band of thirty or forty armed 
men surrounded a huge block of buildings in the Uglovaya 
Street and called upon the inmates to open the courtyard 
door, announcing that they were soldiers come to make 
a revision. They were told to return in the morning. 
To this they replied by trying to batter the door down, 
and opened rifle fire. Immediately by preconcerted 
arrangement the inmates of the building, men, women and 
children, rushed out into the courtyard and in chorus 
raised a sustained cry for help which could be heard all 
over the city. Finally the assailants withdrew. The 
following morning thirty-five genuine Polish troops headed 
by an officer appeared and declared that they had been 
fired on from this building the previous evening, and 
therefore proposed to search the premises. In the course 
of the search the officer found in an attic a quantity of 
cocaine valued at a million marks, which he promptly con- 
fiscated and retired with his men, declaring himself satisfied 
that the inmates were innocent ! Nearly every Jew with 
whom I talked stated that, not to speak of the short-lived 
Lithuanian r^ime, which had seemed almost too good to 
be true, even under the Bolsheviks, life and property had 
been infinitely safer than under the Polish flag. 

During the brief interval that had elapsed since the 
withdrawal of the Lithuanians and the entry of the Poles, 
prices of various food products had doubled, trebled, 
and quadrupled. This unhappy city had already changed 
hands seven times, and the inhabitants pined for peace, 
order, and cheap food. 

From a military standpoint Central Lithuania was then 


stronger than when Zeligowski entered the town on 
October 9th, and from a qualified British expert, and 
ex-officer established in business, I obtained very satis- 
factory evidence of the close connexion between General 
Zeligowski and the Warsaw government. For that 
matter, the Polish flag flew over official buildings, and 
the militia wore Polish brassards. Only Polish money 
circulated. The first decree of General Zeligowski defined 
the territory of Central Lithuania as embracing all districts 
of the Vilnius government, save Vileika and part of Disna 
district, also almost all Gardinas (Grodno) district. 
The national emblem was the eagle and epaulettes, 
taken from a historic tablet on the walls of the famous 
belfry of St. Casimir attached to the cathedral* This 
emblem decorated the red flag of the " Republic," The 
provisional governing commission comprised departments 
of Foreign Affairs, Regional Defence, Interior Trade 
and Industry, Ways of Communications and Public Works, 
Labour, Finance, Provisioning and Agriculture, State 
Properties, and Justice. This administration was to con- 
tinue only till the convocation of a Constituent Assembly 
which would have to determine the ultimate form of 
government. I obtained several interviews with leading 
officials, including Mr. Jerzy Iwanowski, Director of 
Foreign Affairs, and Engel, the Director of Department 
of Justice, who naturally insisted that the coup de force 
w$s inspired by local patriotism, 

One significant little incident which helped to satisfy 
me personally of the close connexion between the Zeli- 
gowski adventure and Warsaw was my chance street 
encounter on this occasion with none other than Lieutenant 
Wonsowiez, whom I had known previously in Kaunas 
as Polish liaison officer. Wonsowiez, himself a naturalized 
American citizen of considerable private means, was 
one of Pilsudski*s most trusted secret agents, and his 
presence therefore in Vilnius at such a time could hardly 
be misconstrued. He had suddenly left Kaunas some few 
weeks before to escape arrest by the Lithuanian police 
for ceaseless plotting against the existing administration. 

On the return journey to Kaunas our car broke down 


ten versts from Preny, and we had to accomplish the 
rest of the route on foot and in a prehistoric stage-coach 
packed with good-natured Jews. 

Unfortunately for the pleasing fiction of a mutinous 
General (Zehgowski to wit), and Polish innocence of 
complicity in his coup, we have the signed depositions 
of Polish officers, including Lieutenant Grodski, Captain 
Buczynski, Captain Javorski, and Lieutenant Slovikovski, 
to prove that the entire plot was engineered by Marshal 
Pilsudski himself, in conjunction with other highly placed 
military officers, who held a conference in the Marshal's 
train at Gardinas (Grodno) on October 1st and 2nd to 
concert plans for the reoccupation of Vilnius. General 
Zeligowski was selected to command the enterprise because 
he was a native of Central Lithuania, and could therefore 
rather more gracefully father the theory of a purely local 
movement than some outsider. The Polish officers whose 
names are given above further testified that money and 
munitions for the Zeligowski troops came solely from 
Warsaw, all settlements of accounts being effected direct 
with the Ministry of Military Affairs at the Polish capital. 

Incidentally Lieutenant Grodski deposed that the 
centre of the Polish secret military organization in Western 
Lithuania, known as the P.Q.W. (Polska Organizacija 
Woiskowa), was at Warsaw, its head being Section No. 2 
of Information of the Polish General Headquarters, the 
Chief of which was Lieut.-Colonel Matezynski. The 
latter's substitute, Major Kieszkowski, was Commander- 
in-Chief of the entire P.O.W* organization* This organiza- 
tion was directly connected with the 2nd Information 
Section, which in turn was subordinated to the Chief of 
the General Staff. The P.O.W. organization possessed 
at Vilnius its sections P.P.S. and P.O.W., equally directed 
by the 2nd Section of Warsaw. The Chief of the 2nd 
Section at Vilnius was Major Koscialkowski, ex-Commander 
of the Sharpshooters of the Niemen. At Kaunas the 
Chief was an old Starosta of the Troki district, Lieutenant 
Staniewicz, who had charge of the Sharpshooters of the 
Niemen and of the ** Bojowki ** (a preparatory fighting 
organization) in Lithuania. At the head of each bojowka 


was a Pobsh officer, the chief of these bojowki at Kaunas 
being an ex-officer of the Russian Army, Antzierovitch. 
The same witness testified that the Polish Government 
had fully decided to overthrow the Kaunas Govern- 
ment at all costs, and it was to this end that it was deemed 
necessary to give a solid organization to the P.O.W. 
Important funds were actually devoted to this purpose ; 
unlimited credit exempt from all control was guaranteed, 
Lieut.-Colonel Matczynski had charge of these credits, 
which he transferred to Major Kieszkowski, who in turn 
sent money by courier to the various chiefs of the bojowki. 
One project on foot at the time was to unite all these 
subversive groups into a single organization of the Niemen, 
but I am not aware whether this project has been realized. 
Those curious to learn further details of these Polish 
intrigues I would refer to The LUhuanian-Polish Dispute, 
published at the instance of the Lithuanian Legation in 
London by Eyre & Spottiswoode in 1921* 

The intervention of the League of Nations in the 
Lithuanian-Polish dispute dates from September 1920, 
and formally terminated in January 1922, after a series 
of futile conferences at Brussels and Geneva under the 
auspices of M, Paul Hymans, the President of the 
Council. To my mind, this intervention was from the 
first foredoomed to failure by the obstinate and myster- 
ious obsession, whereof M. Hymans was a victim, that 
some sort of " special tie " must be effected between 
Lithuania and Poland. This obsession, coupled with the 
wholly unwarrantable transformation of the Vilnius 
territory from an object of litigation into an object 
of exchange, helps to explain the failure of M. Hymans 
to bring the two parties to an understanding. It seems 
incredible that any British representative on the League 
Council should have been able to share the conviction 
of ML Hymans that his final project of agreement 
offered a fair solution of the dispute. Quite irrespective 
of numerous minor objectionable features, it contained 
several clauses so dangerous to Lithuanian integrity 
that no Lithuanian Government dare accept them. 

For example. Article 11 of the proposed agreement 


requires Lithuania to grant Poland at all time the free 
use of Memel as well as the Nieinen for the transport of 
all classes of goods, including munitions and implements 
of war. This clause blissfully loses sight of the fact that 
Lithuania is already bound under her treaty with Russia 
to observe strict neutrality in the event of war involving 
that country. Acceptance of the clause would thus 
invalidate that neutrality from the start, and would 
be doubly dangerous seeing that the entire trend of Poland's 
foreign policy renders another conflict between Russia 
and herself inevitable sooner or later. 

Article 9, concerning conditions for a defensive military 
agreement between Lithuania and Poland, besides being of 
a far-reaching character wholly unjustified by Lithuania's 
international position, actually contains a proviso that 
in case of disagreement on the obligation on either side 
to come to the assistance of the other, the question shall 
be submitted to an arbitrator, appointed in advance by 
the Council of the League of Nations with their consent ! 
The suggestion that a sovereign State should blandly 
surrender one of the most important attributes of state- 
hood in the shape of the right of determining for itself an 
issue involving the lives and liberties of its own citizens 
is really so monstrous that I do not like to express my 
true opinion of the class of mind capable of fathering it. 
Whilst no doubt the possible surrender of this attribute 
is on paper reciprocal, in practice it would obviously 
be unilateral, for the simple reason that Lithuania, unlike 
Poland, harbours no aggressive designs against her 
neighbours, and with a guarantee of her neutrality by 
the Great Powers and an honestly defensive union with 
the other Baltic States, can very well dispense with so 
potentially perilous a pact with so very questionable 
a friend as Poland has hitherto shown herself to be. 

Article 6 declares that both the Lithuanian and Polish 
languages shall be official languages throughout the 
whole Lithuanian State. Now, whilst the Lithuanian 
Government was fully prepared to make Polish a con- 
current official language with Lithuanian in the Vilnius 
territory, at the request of the Vilnius Diet, it could 


not properly permit it to be thus extended to Western 
Lithuania, where the Polish element hardly exceeds 
2J per cent, of the total population, and, moreover, 
speaks Lithuanian. 

Again, in Article 8 the provision made for coordination 
of the foreign policies of the two States would in practice 
inevitably have led to a complete subordination of 
Lithuanian to Polish interests. 

It is noteworthy that although Lithuania went so 
far as to accept even this ill-contrived project as a basis 
for discussion, Poland declined to make a similar con- 
cession, thus revealing an inordinate political appetite 
incapable apparently of being satisfied with anything 
less than the entire absorption of Lithuanian into the 
new Polish State. 

In an address before the League of Nations Union 
on January 27, 1922, Mr. Naroushevitch, the Lithuanian 
Charge d 9 Affaires in London, made the following reference 
to the Zeligowski coup de force and the League of Nation's 
failure to find a satisfactory solution of the Polish- 
Lithuanian dispute : 

Taking advantage of their military superiority, the Poles dictated 
conditions to Lithuania, and when subsequently convinced that 
their forcible occupation of Vilna would enjoy the support of 
certain Powers, calmly infringed the Suvalki Treaty. It is indeed 
a matter of history that only two days after the signature of this 
agreement the Poles, acting through the "rebel" General Zeli- 
gowski, seized the Lithuanian capital of Vilna and subsequently 
occupied the Vilna territory. 

The League of Nations has not failed to inflict upon General 
Zeligpwski's adventure well-merited blame. M. Leon Bourgeois, 
then President of the Council of the League, in a letter addressed 
to Bf . PaderewsM on October 4, 1920, specially declared : " The 
Polish Government, after having appealed to the League of Nations 
on the subject of its difference with Lithuania, accepted the 
decisions of the Council immediate cessation of hostilities ; 
neutrality of the territory occupied by Lithuania to the east 
of the line of December 8th, with reservation of respect for this 
neutrality by the Soviet authorities ; formation of a Control Com- 
mission which is now on the spot and charged with taking the 
necessary steps to stop or avert any conflict, without prejudging 
ia aay way through its action a definite territorial settlement. 
The occupation of Vilna is thus a violation of the engagements 


accepted vis-&-uis the Council of the League of Nations, and the latter 
is compelled to demand of the Polish Government what immediate 
steps it proposes to take to ensure respect for engagements." 

In these circumstances, M. Leon Bourgeois, realizing the danger 
which General Zeligowskfs act constituted for the prestige of the 
League of Nations, deemed a fresh hearing of the parties by the 
Council necessary. "The question at issue to-day," he wrote 
to the latter, " is really not only the determination of the rights 
and obligations of each of the two Governments concerned, but 
above all of the right that belongs to the Council of the League 
of Nations not to allow that decisions which it has taken and the 
effect of proceedings which it has advised, after a solemn agree- 
ment concluded before it between the interested parties, to be 
checkmated. It is for the future of tiie work of the League a question 
of essential importance which necessitates deep deliberation" 

The foregoing citation will make it clear that Poland has been 
guilty of violations of her engagements not only towards Lithuania 
but also towards the League of Nations itself. Four separate 
occasions may be recalled in this context. On September 20, 1920, 
she infringed the so-called Curzon line, and twice before violated 
the Foeh line* Finally she committed a flagrant breach of the 
Suvalki agreement by occupying Vilna and the Vilna territory* 
Her offence against the League will be made clearer to the lay 
mind by reference to Article 12 of the Covenant of the League, 
which reads : " The Members of the League agree that if there 
should arise between them any dispute likely to lead to a rupture 
they will submit the matter either to arbitration or to enquiry 
by the Council, and they agree in no case to resort to war until 
three months after the award by the arbitrators on the report by 
the Council." 

Unfortunately, in spite of so palpable an infringement of the 
Covenant on the part of Poland, it must be stated that the League 
so for has not seen fit to apply to the latter the measures specially 
provided under Article 18 of the Covenant, with a view to enforcing 
obedience to the obligations undertaken by all members of the 
League. Article 16 reads : 

** Should any member of the League resort to war in disregard 
of its covenants under Articles 12, 13, or 15, it shall ipso facto be 
deemed to have committed an act of war against all other members 
of the League, which hereby undertake immediately to subject it 
to the severance of all trade or financial relations, the prohibition 
of all intercourse between their nationals and the nationals of the 
covenant-breaking State, and the prevention of all financial, com- 
mercial, or personal intercourse between the nationals of the 
covenant-breaking State and the nationals of any other State, 
whether a member of the League or not. It shall be the duty 
of the Council in such cases to recommend to the several Govern- 
ments concerned what effective military, naval or air force the 


members of the League shall severally contribute to the armed 
forces to be used to protect the covenants of the League." 

It is not too much to say that the failure of the League of Nations 
to exact respect for its authority from a recalcitrant member, 
Poland, lies at the root of all subsequent inability of the Council 
of the League to solve the dispute between Lithuania and Poland. 
We have had frequent occasion to point out to the Council of the 
League that withdrawal of Zeligowsla's troops from the contested 
territory is an indispensable preliminary condition to any peaceful 
settlement of the dispute, for while Poland continues to ignore 
the engagements which she deliberately assumed under the Suvalki 
agreement, profound distrust of her good faith in all future negotia- 
tions must remain deep-rooted in the mind of the Lithuanian people, 
and thus constitute an insuperable obstacle to a satisfactory modus 

Early in January 1922 the Council of the League of 
Nations, in view of the rejection of its recommendations 
by both parties, formally terminated its intervention, 
and gave notice of the withdrawal of the Military Control 
Commission, while at the same time it proposed the accept- 
ance of a fifth demarcation line to take the place of 
the present neutral zone between the contending 
parties. Hitherto the Poles have violated four lines, viz. 
that established by the Supreme Command of the Allied 
and Associated Powers in April 1919, the second line 
laid down by Marshal Foch on July 27th of the same year, 
the line established under the Suvalki agreement of 
October 7, 1920, and the so-called " Curzon " line fixed 
by the Supreme Council as frontier between Poland and 
the provinces of the old Russian Empire. In these 
circumstances, the Lithuanian Government not unnaturally 
failed to see what good purpose could be served by the 
merely nominal provision of yet another demarcation 
line which the Poles would overstep with the same gay 
insouciance as heretofore the moment this should suit 
their purpose. 

The Poles have given additional proof of their keen 
regard for their international engagements and their 
respect for the League of Nations, of which they are a 
member, by holding elections early in January 1922 for the 
so-called Vilnius Seim, in open defiance of the warning 
of the League of Nations Council that no such elections 
could be recognized under existing conditions of Polish 


military occupation of the region, and while the entire 
question of the attribution of the district remained sub 
judice. These elections followed an ostensible with- 
drawal of General Zeligowski from Vilnius, but not of 
the Polish bayonets, which continue to control the 
situation, and under whose stimulating protection the 
elections were held. 

It is symptomatic of the fundamental falsity of the 
Polish position that the Lithuanian, White Russian, 
and Jewish inhabitants, who, according to pre-war Russian 
statistics, constitute some 90 per cent, of the population, 
refused to take any part in these farcical proceedings. 
The result is that of the 106 members composing the Diet 
or Seim, only four are non-Poles, and virtually all the 
members are pledged to vote the Vilnius territory into 
Poland. Such is self-determination as she is determined 
in these spacious post-bellum days. 

In October 1921 the Polish authorities of Vilnius 
organized a systematic pogrom of Lithuanian cultural 
institutions, including the well-known Lithuanian gym- 
nasium or high school, orphanages, banks, etc. The 
school children were brutally beaten by the Polish police 
and soldiery and compelled to seek refuge in the neighbour- 
ing woods, where classes were subsequently held. In the 
wake of the refusal of the Lithuanians and White Russians 
to participate in the January elections, the Polish 
authorities gave further evidence of their deliberate 
resolve to exterminate everything Lithuanian in the 
occupied territory. With this object in view, on January 
20th and succeeding days, they raided a large number of 
Lithuanian and White Russian institutions, including the 
offices of the Lithuanian National Committee, White 
Russian National Committee, the Lithuanian and White 
Russian newspaper offices, as also many private residences 
of Lithuanian and White Russian leaders. The pre- 
tended reason was that these leaders were implicated 
in espionage and Communist activities for the overthrow 
of the existing administration. It goes without saying 
that not a tittle of incriminating evidence could be found 
to support this charge, but failing such evidence the police 


did not scruple to confiscate the private property of the 
victims* such as money, gold and silver articles, linen 
and clothing. Moreover, twenty Lithuanian and thirteen 
White Russian leaders were summarily arrested, and 
after being kept in solitary confinement for several days, 
were expelled from the region on February 5th of the same 
year. All these exiles are residents of Vilnius, many of 
life-long standing, and own property and businesses in 
that city. The majority, too, left behind them wives and 
families destitute of the means of support. 

The Lithuanian Government lost no time in lodging 
emphatic protests with both the Military Control Com- 
mission and the Council of the League of Nations against 
these acts of Polish tyranny, but at the time of writing 
there seemed scant likelihood of anything being done 
to secure redress for the unfortunate victims beyond the 
customary verbal expressions of avuncular disapproval 
from the League, which have about *as much practical 
effect on the pachydermatous hide of Polish officialdom as 
the time-honoured water on the time-honoured duck's back. 

Meanwhile poor Lithuania continues to be penalized 
for the sins of her more powerful neighbour by being 
denied de jure recognition pending a settlement of the 
Vilnius question between them. England was the first 
of the Allies to grant de facto recognition to Lithuania, 
and this step aroused hopes which have not since been 
fulfilled. On the contrary, the world is regaled with 
the anomalous spectacle of the very Powers which fought 
the Great War, avowedly to win liberty for the smaller 
peoples, declining to grant de jure recognition to one of 
those very peoples, whilst the particular State hitherto 
regarded as the embodiment of the opposite principle, i.e, 
Germany, long ago accorded such recognition, and has 
since been followed by virtually all the neutral Govern- 
ments of Europe, including Russia, Estonia, Finland, 
Latvia, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Switzerland, Czecho- 
slovakia, Brazil, Argentine, and other South American 
Republics. And yet de jure recognition has already 
been extended to Estonia and Latvia, the two other 
Baltic States, whose claims to same are not one whit 



superior to those of Lithuania. To those " in the know," 
it is clear that Franco-Polish intrigue is at the bottom of 
our failure to do belated justice to Lithuania. France 
is committed to the policy of a Greater Poland to serve 
as a Buffer State between Germany and Russia. To this 
insensate object Lithuania would cheerfully be sacrificed. 
Why Great Britain should tamely permit herself to be 
dragged at the heels of this reactionary movement is 
more than I care to say at the moment, but it is quite 
certain that our policy in this respect in no wise reflects 
the true wishes of the English people, but is merely an 
expression of the arbitrary opinion of permanent officials. 
Of such stuff are our modern democracies made. 

With reference to the question of the dejure recognition 
of Lithuania, I should like to point out that this issue, 
remote as it may seem to many unfamiliar with the facts, 
has none the less a very important bearing upon the welfare 
of this country. It is therefore on grounds not only of inter- 
national justice but also of national expediency that I 
appeal for fulfilment of an obligation already long overdue. 

That the Allied and League policy hitherto pursued of 
penalizing the weaker party to the dispute, Lithuania, 
for the sins of the stronger, Poland, has directly contributed 
to the prolongation of disorder and unrest in Eastern 
Europe, and therefore to the increase of unemployment 
here at home, can easily be demonstrated. 

Article 87 of the Versailles Treaty requires the AlUed 
Powers to determine the Polish frontiers. This so far 
they have not done, and Poland, as we see, takes advantage 
of the conveniently fluid condition of her boundaries to 
extend these in many directions at the expense of her 
weaker neighbours, of whom Lithuania unfortunately 
happens to be one. Had the Allies been fully alive to 
their responsibilities as sponsors for the new Poland which 
their victory brought into being, they would never have 
tolerated such a state of affairs, but would have invoked 
the powers which the Covenant of the League of Nations 
confers upon its signatories to compel their unruly ward 
to observe those international engagements which she 
has deliberately assumed. Yet in face of Poland's repeated 


violations of these engagements, including infringement 
of four demarcation lines, a flagrant breach of the Suvalkai 
agreement, and later still the holding of elections in the 
Vilnius region, not only have the Allies taken no action, 
but they have even perpetrated the grave inequity of 
making the innocent party a scapegoat for the trans- 
gressions of the guilty. 

To such a pitch has this biased treatment of the two 
countries been carried, that whilst the Allies helped to 
create the Polish army and have supplied it abundantly 
with munitions, since largely employed for purposes of 
aggression, they have refused to sell and to allow others 
to sell to Lithuania arms required solely for purposes of 
self-defence. Comment on this discrimination is needless. 

But the vital consideration for ourselves is that, so 
long as such a situation of unrest and uncertainty, due 
to Polish Chauvinism and our own direct encouragement 
of the same, is permitted to continue, just so long must 
the reconstruction of Eastern Europe be delayed, and 
just so long must the repercussions of this situation 
express themselves in terms of economic stagnation 
among ourselves. Poland's aggressive attitude constitutes 
a constant menace to peace. And once peace is seriously 
disturbed in that part of the world, it will not be easy 
to set bounds to the spread of the succeeding conflagration ; 
whilst the ever-present possibility of a disaster of this 
nature is bound to act as a baneful deterrent to all con- 
structive effort and thus indefinitely retard the complete 
economic recovery of Europe, in which England is more 
deeply interested than any other first-class Power. 

Our de jure recognition of Lithuania would be one of 
the most effective methods of letting Poland know that 
her policy of Imperialism towards that young State no 
longer enjoys the tacit approval of the Allies, and that 
she must in future content herself with what rightfully 
belongs to her. That, coupled with the prompt carrying 
out of Article 87 of the Versailles Treaty, would go a. 
long way towards restoring those conditions of political 
stability in Eastern Europe without which it is vain to 
look for any permanent amelioration of our own economic 
miseries here at home. 


As stated in an earlier part of this book, the ancient 
Ldtho-Baltic races from time immemorial have dwelt on 
the shores of the Baltic Sea, between the River Vistula 
in the south-west and the stream of the Salis in the 
north, near the Frisches Haff, the Kurisches HaS and the 
Gulf of Riga. The Borussians or Old Prussians occupied 
the region between the Vistula and Pregel in the south. 
The Letts lived in the north and occupied the lower 
basin of the Dvina. The Lithuanians lived along the 
Nemunas between the Borussians and Letts* 

The Borussians, although supported by the Lithuanians, 
were nevertheless unable to resist the attacks of those 
sturdy professional scrappers, the Teutonic Knights, 
and after three centuries of struggle were overcome. 
But although the Teutons concentrated all possible means 
to denationalize the Borussians, it took about four hundred 
years to Germanize the latter. To-day, however, the 
Borussians are German in speech and in spirit. 

The campaigns of the Teutonic Knights against 
Lithuania Proper began in 1274, their object being to keep 
the Lithuanians away from the Baltic. The Teutons 
succeeded in conquering the neighbouring Lithuanian 
provinces of Sudavia, Nadrovia, and Salavia, including 
the present Memel district. This territory is situated 
north of the Rivers Laba, Pregel and Angerop. From the 
year 1422 these Lithuanian provinces were under Prusso- 
Brandenburgian rule. The greater part of the Prussian 
Lithuanians in Sudavia, Nadrovia and Salavia, however, 
still retained their old customs and language, and to-day 
desire to be reunited with the rest of the Lithuanian people. 


The north-eastern portion of these provinces constitutes 
the Memel district. 

Memel district (Memel-Gebiet), situated between the 
Nemunas River and the former Russo-German frontier, 
was detached from Germany by the Treaty of Versailles, and 
is more precisely defined in Part II, Article 20 of the Treaty. 
The district has an area of 2,410 square kilometres of solid 
land and 426 square kilometres of water. The population 
is composed of Lithuanians and Germans, whose relative 
proportions have never been established by reliable 
statistics. According to descent, however, we may regard 
80 to 90 per cent, as Lithuanians. If, on the other hand, 
we base our definition of nationality upon the use of 
language, a smaller percentage would probably result* 
The German Peace Delegation, which was not over- 
scrupulous in its compilation of statistics affecting the 
Lithuanians, commented thus on the peace conditions for 
the Memel territory : 

The Memel territory is predominantly German as regards the 
number of inhabitants. There are about 68,000 Germans against 
only about 54,000 inhabitants speaking Lithuanian. 

According to statistics contained in the German Clerical 
Almanac (Pfarr-Almanach) of East Prussia, 1912, there 
were among 138,524 evangelical inhabitants 71,810 
Lithuanians. But these German statistics include many 
elements not native to the country, such as officials, troops, 
etc., who, with the fall of the German hegemony, must 
naturally withdraw and give place to local inhabitants, 
If we examine the position of Memel on the map we see 
that its sole hinterland is Lithuania. The unnatural 
separation of the district from this hinterland in the past 
has therefore had the result that Memel port, notwith- 
standing its freedom from ice, its greater depth than 
Konigsberg and other favourable conditions, has not 
developed, but has remained quite an insignificant town 
on the Baltic coast, with a population of about 32,000* 
Through the connexion of the Kurisehes Haff with the sea 
a natural harbour basin many kilometres in extent is 
formed alongside the city. The city of Memel is crossed 


from east to west by the River Dauge, which flows into the 
Memel Tref, i.e. the confluence of the Haff and the Baltic. 
Another natural advantage is proximity to the Nemunas. 
which is navigable up to Grodno (Gardinas) through 
Lithuanian territory rich in natural resources. 

In view of the foregoing, the Allies, in their reply of 
June 16, 1919, to the German Delegation, made the follow- 
ing statement : 

The Allied and Associated Powers reject the suggestion that 
the cession of the district of Memel conflicts with the principle 
of nationality. The district in question has always been Lithu- 
anian. The majority of the population is Lithuanian in origin 
and speech, and the feet that the city of Memel itself is in large 
part German is no justification for maintaining the district under 
German sovereignty, particularly in view of the fact that the port 
of Memel is the only sea outlet for Lithuania. 

The soil of Memel territory is largely sandy. Although a 
high standard of cultivation has been attained, the export 
of foodstuffs is none the less entirely insufficient to cover 
the total expenditure of the territory on administration, 
and the upkeep of public and Government institutions. 
The local industry, consisting chiefly of wood manufacture, 
and based also upon other agricultural products imported 
almost exclusively from Lithuania, is thus entirely de- 
pendent upon the latter. The same must be said about 
commerce. In that which concerns economic conditions, 
it may be taken as proved during the year 1920 that 
the Memel district cannot be self-supporting. The budget 
of about 60,000,000 marks, as drafted by the local 
administration for that period, appears to be sufficiently 
high for a region with a population of approximately only 

Considering, too, that according to the Versailles Treaty 
a certain percentage of the German Imperial and State 
debt will have to be assumed, and that German Imperial 
aixd State property remaining in the district to the 
estimated amount of 232,887,000 marks vrill have to be 
made good, it is obvious that a financial burden will have 
been heaped up under which the little country must 
eventually break down. 


The provisional administration of the Memel district, 
in an effort to cover its deficit, has sought to increase its 
revenue by imposing duties upon all goods entering the 
country from Lithuania. But this measure is at variance, 
firstly, with the accepted obligation to admit goods in 
transit entirely free of duty, and, secondly, must have the 
effect of diverting goods traffic to other rival ports such as 
Libau and Konigsberg. Such a policy, therefore, cannot 
improve the well-being of the district, but, on the contrary, 
may conceivably lead to its utter impoverishment. 

From what has been said it will be clear that the Memel 
territory, owing to its restricted area and population, 
as well as its geographical situation, cannot support an 
independent economic existence, but must either revert 
to Germany or be attached to Lithuania as a natural former 
component part of the latter. There is no other alternative. 
The Danzig analogy does not hold good here. Danzig 
is already a well-developed port with an extensive trade 
and a considerable indigenous population. Danzig, by 
virtue of its geographical position, serves the needs of both 
Polish and German territory by which it is encompassed, 
whereas Memel, by virtue also of its geographical position, 
is solely a Lithuanian port, the requirements of Prussia 
being fully met by Konigsberg. 

The Memel territory continues to this day to be pre- 
eminently a Lithuanian country. To declare it either 
independent or Memel a free port would evoke profound 
dissatisfaction alike amongst the inhabitants of Prussian 
and former Russian Lithuania, which in turn would 
detrimentally affect the development of the port, because 
in that case the Lithuanian people, in view of the political 
instability and uncertainty of the position of this small 
stretch of territory, would not expend any effort upon its 
improvement, which they would surely do if, through 
mutual consent, this territory were to receive the status 
of an integral part of Lithuania. The independence or 
freedom of Memel territory, on the Danzig model, would 
foment ceaseless political intrigues among certain German 
elements which pursue a policy of reversion to Prussia. 
It is equally certain that Polish groups would also lose no 


opportunity of creating complications with a view to gaining 
control over the region. Mindful, therefore, of the 
economic, political, geographical and national factors 
in the case, it will scarcely be possible to find any other 
solution of the Memel problem than that proposed by the 
Powers in their reply to the German delegation. 

Pending a just settlement of this question in favour of 
Lithuania, as foreshadowed by the Treaty, the region is 
being administered by the French on behalf of the Supreme 
Council. All familiar with the trend of French post-bellum 
policy will understand quite well what that means, viz. 
that they are administering it entirely in their own interests. 
Incidentally, a somewhat remarkable anomaly may be 
detected in the details of this French administration. For 
the time being, incredible as such a statement must seem 
as it stands, the policy of the French tends to strengthen 
German influence. The explanation, however, is simple. 
Confronted by a choice of what it must deem two evils, 
i.e. the German and Lithuanian elements, French policy 
is reduced, despite French hatred of all things German, 
to favouring the old German officialdom and the German 
party generally, because it is inflexibly hostile to the desire 
of the Lithuanian majority for inclusion of the Memel 
territory in the adjacent State of Lithuania. Undoubtedly, 
too, this tendency is encouraged by the Poles, who, with no 
economic justification for the outlay, have established a 
consulate at Memel to promote purely political ends, and 
are working tooth and nail to prevent the natural gravita- 
tion of the region towards Lithuania. Thus, Franco-Polish 
policy, frankly Gennanophobe elsewhere, is ostensibly 
Germanophil in the Memel region. 

General Odry signalized his advent in the winter of 
1920 by enlisting Germans only in the local administra- 
tion, to the bitter disappointment of Lithuanian-speaking 
citizens who had looked forward with hope to the arrival 
of the French as heralding the dawn of a brighter era for 
Lithuanian aspirations. At the present moment there is 
only one Lithuanian and a fully Germanized one at that 
in the Direktorium as against four Teuton Germans. 
The clerical staff of the Direktorium is also rarely recruited 


from natives of Memel territory ; usually it is imported 
from Germany, as in the case of the higher officials. 

Notwithstanding repeated petitions from the Lithuanian 
inhabitants, the Lithuanian language is not taught in the 
higher schools. Both General Odry and M. Petisne, the 
French Prefect, have rejected numerous requests that 
Lithuanian should be recognized as an official tongue with 

In commercial matters the same orientation is 
observable. The advice of German merchants, and more 
especially of the former Memel Ober-Burgermeister, 
Altenberg, preponderates. This policy reacts to the 
detriment of Memel territory, because while it continues, 
the neighbouring Lithuanian State naturally will not enter 
into any commercial or customs treaty with the region. 

The consensus of opinion amongst the Lithuanian popula- 
tion of Memel territory appears to be that under the 
existing form of administration Germanism bids fair to 
become stronger than in the halcyon days of the Kaiser. 


OF all the Baltic States Lithuania enjoys the most favoured 
financial and economic position* This is very largely 
owing to the caution and prudence of her fiscal policy, 
which from the first led her to avoid recourse to the 
printing press for the replenishment of her exchequer* 

In common with Poland and part of Latvia she found 
herself at the close of the German occupation in possession 
of the so-called Ost currency issued by the German 
Treasury for circulation exclusively in the occupied 
territory. But whereas the other States and Poland, 
in their natural eagerness to exercise all the attributes of 
independent nationhood, lost no time in issuing their 
own paper currencies, Lithuania, looking farther ahead, 
wisely decided to retain the Ost money until such time as 
she should be in a position to introduce her own coinage 
with an adequate gold guarantee behind it. The result 
of this far-sighted policy is that whereas Poland, Latvia 
and Estonia to-day are saddled with vast depreciated 
note issues, the unit of which in every case now stands at 
four figures to the pound sterling, and continues to decline, 
the Lithuanian " auksinas " or mark, until quite recently, 
when the slump of the German mark set in, retained 
comparative stability, its fluctuations being almost exactly 
determined by those of the German mark proper. The 
later collapse of the mark has naturally reacted unfavour- 
ably upon the Lithuanian economic situation, and may 
indeed be said to have imposed upon the Lithuanian people 
a share of German reparations, The new Lithuanian 
Government is alive to the situation thus created, and in 

its latest declaration foreshadowed the liquidation of the 



Ost currency, and its replacement by a national money 
backed by an adequate gold reserve or funds equivalent 
to gold. The total volume of Ost paper money in 
circulation to-day is estimated at about two milliard 

Lithuania is, par excellence, an agricultural country. 
Both pre-war and post-war figures establish this fact 
conclusively. She thus produces within her own borders 
everything necessary to a self-contained independent 
existence. True, she has no great mineral resources, but 
not being a manufacturing country she is in no absolute 
need of them. On the other hand, Russia is not vitally 
concerned in anything that Lithuania produces. It is 
not meant to suggest that Lithuania could lead a healthy 
existence merely as a " peasant republic, 9 * such as the former 
Boer republics of South Africa. On the contrary, her full 
cultural development demands active intercourse with 
other countries. But merely as a question of existence 
Lithuania's position is as favourable as that of any country, 
and more so than, say, that of a land like Switzerland, 
which has, nevertheless, managed to maintain its 
independence during a period when larger and more 
powerful States have been broken up or absorbed by their 

Lithuania, including the Memel and Vilnius districts, 
has an area of about 34,000 square miles, more than 
Belgium (11,373 square miles), the Netherlands (12,650 
square miles), Denmark (13,580 square miles), or 
Switzerland (15,976 square miles). Lithuania's area and 
population are approximately the same as those of Bulgaria 
before the war. The population of this territory in 1914 
was 4,345,000, greater than that of Denmark (2,775,000), 
Norway (2,393,000), or Switzerland (3,781,000). As we 
have already seen, however, the Polish betrayal has tem- 
porarily deprived Lithuania of a considerable area of 
territory in the Vilnius region, so that the actual popula- 
tion at present under the rule of the Lithuanian Govern- 
ment is not much in excess of two million (actually 
2,750,000), confined mainly to the Kaunas and a bit of the 
Suvaftai Government. 


A large majority of the population is of Lithuanian 
blood and speech. For the entire area claimed the per- 
centages are approximately: Lithuanians, 75 per cent.; 
Jews, 10 per cent. ; Polish-speaking element, about 8 per 
cent- ; Russians, White Russians and other nationalities, 
7 per cent. The pre-war population of the principal 
cities was : Vilnius (Vilna), the capital, 214,000 ; Kaunas 
(Kovno), 90,300 ; Gardinas (Grodno), 61,600 ; and Siauliai 
(Shavli), 31,300, The rural population for the entire 
area claimed is about 86*2 per cent., but in the area now 
under Lithuanian jurisdiction it is even higher, falling 
not far short of 90 per cent. 


Of the twenty-three million odd acres claimed, the 
actual area at present administered by the Lithuanian 
Government is about thirteen millions. The country for 
the most part is level and possesses a fertile soil. The 
staple crops are rye, wheat, barley, oats, peas, potatoes 
and flax. I give below for purposes of reference the average 
annual production before the war for the whole of Lithuania 
(excluding Memel, then part of Germany), and for 1920 
for that part of Lithuania under the administration of 
the Lithuanian Government. It will be noted that as to 
wheat, peas and potatoes, there is a relative increase in 
the 1920 crop over the pre-war figures. There is also a 
great increase in flax production, the area planted in flax 
in 1921 being 50 per cent, greater than the pre-war. 

Pre-war Averages 
(for Entire Country). 

1920 (say Five-eighths of 
Total Area). 


40,000,000 bushels 

20,000,000 bushels 

















40,000 tons 


1,400,000 bushels 



The approximate quantities of these crops exported 
during 1920-21 were : Rye, 600,000 bushels ; wheat, 
736,000 bushels ; barley, 1,115,000 bushels ; oats, 2,450,000 
bushels ; flax, 20,000 tons. 

I give below the number of animals in 1913 for the whole 
of Lithuania and for that portion which is now administered 
by the Lithuanian Government, also the number in 1920 
for the latter territory. The actual increase in the quicker 
breeding animals, sheep and swine, and the relatively 
small diminution in the number of horses and cattle, are 
notable when one considers the destruction wrought by the 
war and subsequent enemy occupation. It must be 
remembered that the Germans during their nearly four 
years military control of the country (the Ober-Ost regime) 
fairly bled it white. Huge quantities of foodstuffs and 
raw materials were exported to the Fatherland at purely 
nominal prices. That the post-war figures should show so 
comparatively small a falling-off as compared with the 
pre-war figures says much for the national powers of 

1913 (all 



Sheep and Goats 




Calves and lambs are not included in the above figures. 

Further notable progress in agricultural development 
has been made since 1920, but complete statistics are 
unfortunately not available at the moment. It can be 
said, however, that the area now under grain cultivation 
is nearly four million acres, and that the annual crop 
reaches nearly two million tons. The annual milk supply 
is reckoned at a hundred million pails. Large as are these 
figures, they are capable of very considerable expansion. 
It is estimated that with proper rotation of crops it would 
be easy to increase the yield 15 to 20 per cent. Moreover, 


much of the so-called unsuitable land could be made 
productive, thus raising the output of the area under 
cultivation by some 40 per cent. The introduction of 
more modern fertilizers would still further enhance the 
yield per acre. In the opinion of the Lithuanian Minister 
of Agriculture, Dr. Alexa, the measures indicated would 
bring the total crop to 150,000,000 poods (say 2,500,000 
tons) instead of only some million odd tons, which would 
mean a surplus for export of some hundreds of thousands 
of tons. 

There is still ample scope for the development of dairy- 
farming and stock-raising in Lithuania* Even slight 
improvement under the former head would provide 
150 to 240 million eggs annually for export, and between 
5 and 7 million poods of first-class butter (between 
80 and a 100 thousand tons). Pig-breeding is another 
very promising branch of stock-raising, and with a little 
development Lithuania could easily export annually 10 to 
15 million poods live weight (up to some 250 thousand 

The position during 1921 with regard to livestock was 
difficult, owing partly to bad management, but chiefly 
to the unprecedented drought, which caused a shortage 
of fodder everywhere. None tfce less, the quantity of stock 
in Lithuania has appreciably increased. The Ministry 
of Agriculture is devoting attention to the question of 
importing agricultural machinery and implements duty 
free, and to improved facilities for the extension of 
agricultural credit. 

With reference to current prices, it can be shown that 
in many cases these are actually lower than before the 
war. Rye, for example, can be bought for 90 marks the 
pood (S6 Ibs.), or half a dollar, about the pre-war price, 
whilst cattle are much cheaper. Before the war a cow 
in Lithuania cost from 30 to 40 American dollars, and a 
very good one 60 dollars, say from 5,500 to 11,000 marks, 
whereas to-day it costs less than half that amount. 
Similarly with horses and swine. The latter cost only a 
third of the pre-war price. 

An analysis of the principal categories of agricultural 


activity to-day in Lithuania gives small farms of from 
12 and 15 acres to 25 and 37 acres ; medium farms from the 
last-named area to 75 and 100 acres ; and big communal 
farms from the last-named area to 150 and 200 acres. 
Then come the estate farms* Of these categories, the 
smaller farms produce in the first place two lines, swine 
and poultry, some cattle, but absolutely no gram for sale. 
The medium-sized farms, as compared with the first, 
provide fewer poultry products, some cattle products, 
and are beginning to provide grain for sale. The big 
communal farm, in proportion to its area, produces 
much fewer eggs and swine, perhaps a little cattle, more 
horses and more grain products. The estate farms furnish 
no poultry or swine products, little cattle in comparison 
with their area, and much grain. 

In Lithuania to-day taxation tends to protect the 
communal in preference to the estate farm. Speaking 
generally, poultry and livestock are more profitable than 
grain-growing. This means that the most intensive 
farming in the country is devoted to cattle and poultry 
products, i.e. small and medium fanning, rather than to 
large-scale or grain-growing agriculture* Prices also favour 
this tendency. Under normal conditions, especially, the 
highest prices comparatively are for cattle and poultry 
products, whereas grain prices are lower, These conditions 
are more favourable to small- than to large-scale farming* 
Consequently, by introducing agrarian reform and creating 
small and medium-sized farms, Lithuania should increase 
the output of the more profitable branches of agricultural 


After agriculture, the most important source of national 
wealth is timber, The area under forest for both Eastern 
and Western Lithuania is some 19 per cent., but if we take 
the region now actually under the administration of the 
Lithuanian Government, the proportion is only 17 per 
cent., or say roughly about two million odd acres. In 
the same context it must be recalled that military operations 
conducted on Lithuanian soil during the war, and the 


subsequent enemy occupation of the entire country, 
naturally tended to impoverish the originally abundant 
timber resources of Lithuania. 

The principal species are pine, oak, fir, birch, maple, 
lime, etc., needed for the manufacture of wood-pulp, 
paper, railway sleepers, furniture, etc. The normal annual 
production is 8,475,840,000 feet board measure. At the 
present time the export of both timber and flax from 
Lithuania is greatly impeded by the unsettled question 
of the port of MemeL 

The Ministry of Agriculture has drawn attention to the 
necessity for prompt remedial measures if the premature 
depletion of the national timber supply is to be averted. 
In the wake of the war the needs of reconstruction all along 
the line have become so enormous that a quite dispro- 
portionate demand for timber has arisen, and great 
difficulty is experienced in coping with the irregular felling 
of the forests. The Ministry of Agriculture is taking steps 
to introduce a system of quinquennial periods for timber 
felling. Should more than a fifth of the specified quantity 
be cut in any one year proportionately less would be cut 
in the following year. Taking the cutting of a normal 
year State institutions require more than a third, or up 
to 40 per cent., which is very high. The biggest consumers 
are the railways for fuel purposes, and owing to conditions 
of external unrest the Ministry of Defence has to make 
very frequent use of the lines for the conveyance of troops* 
Failing the possibility of using coal upon a large scale, 
owing to its high price as compared with wood, it is hoped 
that more extensive use can be made of peat in order to 
relieve the present disproportionate consumption of wood. 
Lithuania's peat supplies are virtually unlimited. Further- 
more, the Ministry of Agriculture has urged the necessity 
for employing brick and stone as universal building 
materials, instead of wood, as at present, if the country's 
timber resources are to be rationally conserved. The 
value of Lithuania's timber exports for the first ten months 
of 1921 was 165,413,566 marks. 



Agrarian reform in Lithuania has now been under 
way since 1919, although the formal enactment dealing 
with this subject was adopted by the Constituent Assembly 
only in February 1922. The special objects of this law 
are to provide land for the landless and to increase the 
holdings of those who at present possess an insufficient 
quantity ; to create conditions favourable to the develop- 
ment of rural economy, more particularly small and 
medium-sized farms; and to place under State control 
those national resources which in private possession tend 
to be wasted. 

To this end the State will appropriate the so-called 
46 majorats," or entailed estates, and lands granted by 
the former Russian Government either in fee simple or 
on privileged conditions ; certain lands belonging to the 
former Peasants* Land Bank and Nobles' Bank ; lands of 
private persons who own more than 375 acres in the first 
place, and more than 200 in the second place, leaving 
to such persons 200 acres, the site of which they are 
free to choose. These lands will be alienated with 
ail immovables, with the exception of industrial and 
commercial establishments* 

Majorat estates and lands granted by the former Russian 
Government as gifts or on privileged conditions, and the 
lands of the former Peasants* and Nobles' Banks are taken 
over by the State without indemnity ; the rest are bought 
by the State at a pre-war price. The State assumes the 
mortgage debts with which these latter are encumbered, 
and deducts such sums from the price to be paid to the 
former owners. The larger and more neglected estates 
will first be dealt with, whilst properties not exceeding 
375 acres will be appropriated at a later date. The law 
allows foreign owners to liquidate their holdings during 
three years. 

Alienated laads will serve to create farms of from 
about 20 to 50 acres, which will be given to the landless 
and insufficiently landed citizens* Nevertheless, care will 
be taken not to cut up lots, the preservation of which, 



for local reasons, is deemed necessary. In addition to 
the creation of farms, alienated lands will be utilized for 
urban needs the extension of towns, parks, kitchen 
gardens, experimental farms, agricultural schools, charit- 
able institutions, etc. 

For the lots which they thus receive the new owners 
are required to pay the State sixteen quintals of rye 
per hectare (say two and a half acres), or the value of such 
quantity. Should the owner be unable to do this at once, 
he is granted a delay of thirty-six years in consideration of 
an annual payment of from half to three poods (one pood 
equals S3 Ibs. avoirdupois) of rye per hectare, with interest 
at the rate of 5 per cent, on the amount outstanding. 
Families of men who have fallen in the defence of their 
country, wounded soldiers, and certain volunteers receive 
free grants. Moreover, all the military recipients of land 
enjoy for ten years a free of interest grant of 80 poods of 
grain and 100 trunks of timber for building purposes. 

For the realization of agrarian reform there is created 
a Central Office with special organs in the districts. It 
is proposed to acquire the requisite funds to implement 
the reform through the sale of lots not liable to division, 
and the organization of an agrarian hypothec bank designed 
to furnish loans to small and medium holders over and 
above the general State resources. 

Agrarian reform further contemplates the rational 
control of the work of splitting up villages into separate 
farms, already under way ; the suppression of survivals of 
serfdom in the form of common pasturage, servitude, etc. 

It is estimated that agrarian reform will affect some 
2,300 to 3,000 landlords, and an area, for the part of 
Lithuania free from Polish occupation, of about 2,500,000 
acres, whereof a million acres consist of forests and 1,500,000 
acres of fields. 

On the basis of 200 acres per capita, 3,000 land- 
lords will need 600,000 acres, leaving some 900,000 acres 
available for appropriation, out of which it is estimated 
between 25,OOO and 30,000 farms can be created. 
Considering that small proprietors will receive only 
supplementary lots below the average in size, it is expected 


that with the disposable land fund it will be possible to 
settle between 35,000 and 40,000 families. 

The area accruing from distributed estates and cut-up 
villages was about 38,000 acres in 1919, 92,000 acres in 
1920, and more than 225,000 acres in 1921. Of the 
last-named figure, about 75,000 acres were parcelled out 
of estates, and the balance from cut-up villages. In 1 921-22 
4,362 lots were made out of cut-up villages, and from 
divided estates 1,400 lots were bestowed upon soldiers, 
900 lots upon the landless, and 1,800 lots upon those with 
insufficient land. On the whole, during 1921-22 the work 
of agrarian readjustment affected 8,000 families. 

Thanks to the larger number of land-surveyors now at 
work and steadily increasing, it is anticipated that the 
area distributed will be proportionately augmented. The 
Minister of Agriculture's estimate for 1922 was about 
525,000 acres, and the work, if continued at this rate, 
should be accomplished in seven or ten years. 

The present number of farms is estimated at 200,000, 
which, with the realization of agrarian reform, will probably 
be increased to 240,000. 

The Department of Agriculture now has under its 
jurisdiction about 1,100 estates and subsidiary estates, with 
a total area of about 325,000 acres, which are rented to 
a considerable number of small holders, several thousands 
in all, the balance having been already divided and allotted 
to the soldier owners, to landless and insufficiently landed 
persons. Besides these 325,000 acres, the Department 
of Agriculture has under its jurisdiction land appropriated 
for military needs, and not yet divided, also monastic 
and former colonists* land. The total quantity of land 
taken over by the Ministry of Agriculture is not less than 
a third of the total land appropriated. But it has to be 
borne in mind that this land constitutes the sole source 
for the further work of achieving agrarian reform. During 
1921-22 the military received 1,400 farms ; in 1922-23 
they will probably receive some 3,000. This means 
that for soldiers alone a very large quantity of grain must 
be appropriated, If the Ministry of Agriculture did not 
possess this source, it would be necessary to allot a consider- 


able sum in the Budget for the purchase of grain, which 
In turn would involve a very elaborate organization, 
while, too, such wholesale purchases would greatly raise 
the price of grain. 

Of all the Baltic States it is^tafe to say that the Lithuanian 
Agrarian Law is the mildest in its incidence. In the wake 
of the Russian Revolution and the emancipation of these 
Border States, no government refusing to satisfy the 
peasant land hunger could have survived twenty-four 
hours. As I have already shown elsewhere, the recognition 
of the necessity for land reform is not even a party issue 
in Lithuania ; on this all parties, Right, Left and Centre, 
are entirely agreed. Even the Social Democrats, who in 
principle do not recognize private land-ownership, have 
bowed to expediency and reconciled themselves to the 
realities of life. But the Agrarian Law applies the principle 
of compensation for all land thus appropriated. 


"WMlst in no sense an industrial country, Lithuania 
before the war could boast 5,140 industrial establishments 
of various kinds, with a productive value of 62 million 
Russian gold roubles* Of these 35 per cent, manufactured 
food products and beverages, 12 per cent, were for the 
working up of hides, bones and other animal by-products, 
10 per cent, for wood-working, 25 per cent, for clay 
products, 3 per cent, for weaving, 4 per cent, for 
manufactured chemical products, and 11 per cent, for 
other miscellaneous products. Incidentally, one of the 
biggest iron foundries in Russia, that of Tillman, is at 
Kaunas. During the war the larger industrial establish- 
ments were dismantled or destroyed by the Russians 
themselves, but are gradually recovering. At Siauliai 
(Shavli) are several tanneries which before the war ranked 
amongst the biggest in the world. These are now being 
restored to working order. 

It goes without saying that the most prosperous future 
awaits those branches of both commerce and industry 
associated more particularly with agriculture* The weaving 
of flax fibre affords a case in point. If only 40 per cent, of 


the present annual output were woven in Lithuania, it 
would represent a value of several hundreds of millions 
of marks* 

Referring to this subject, the new Lithuanian Prime 
Minister, in a declaration Aade before the Constituent 
Assembly on February 8, 1922, said that the Government 
proposed to devote attention to those branches of trade 
and industry which work up the raw products of agricul- 
ture and prepare the worked-up products for export, 
the Government considering that such branches should 
occupy the first place among the various classifications 
of Lithuanian trade and industry. 

The Lithuanian peasant is undeniably skilful in the 
sphere of handicrafts. Members of the family weave 
linen and woollen clothing of excellent quality, and make 
wooden articles of every description, some of these being 
of high artistic value, in this respect recalling the" kustar- 
naya rabota " of the Russian villages. It is not, therefore, 
at all unreasonable to anticipate that with the introduction 
of capital a flourishing textile industry might be built up 
in Lithuania, seeing that the people both like and under- 
stand this sort of work. 

The amber industry should not be overlooked. The 
Baltic coast is the only area in the world where the 
collecting, digging and manufacture of amber constitute 
a practical industry. The amber is found in the so-called 
" blue earth " layers of the Tertiary period (the layers 
are from 2 to 3| feet thick), not only on the beach, but 
farther inland. Even before the time of Herodotus, 
as shown by excavations of Greece, Italy and Egypt, 
Baltic amber was known to the ancient world. In our 
times the value of amber has diminished, but even so the 
industry continues to exist in Lithuania Minor. All 
products of amber, such as necklaces, buttons, buckles, 
cigarette-holders, etc., which are displayed in the windows 
of the jewellery stores, come from Lithuanian soil. In 
the future this industry could be greatly expanded. 

Besides agricultural products and timber, there are 
other resources for the potential increase of the country's 
production such as large deposits of peat, chalk, quartz, 


and sand suitable for glass manufacture, clay for the 
pottery industry, and mineral springs in Birstona and 
Druskenikai containing a large percentage of radium, 
etc. Prospecting has also revealed the existence of oil- 
shales and coal seams rich enough to repay exploitation. 
There are not many waterfalls in Lithuania, but the 
Nemunas(Niemen) Eiver offers quite a head along its course, 
so powerful, indeed, that the strongest swimmer cannot 
make the slightest progress against the current. No 
doubt this force will be utilized in the future. For example, 
were the two bends of the river near Birstona straightened, 
the project would develop enough power to run many large 
industrial plants as well as electric railways. There are 
also many other swift currents that can be harnessed. 


Turning to trade, exports and imports in 1913, exclusive 
of Memel, showed the following figures. Exports about 
4,000,000, imports about 2,500,000. Exports were 
composed chiefly of breadstuffs, cattle and their products, 
and timber ; imports, coal, iron, textiles, and metal 
manufactures, including machinery. 

For 1921 exports totalled 631,964,118 marks in value, 
in round figures. The biggest individual items are : 
Eggs, 75,762,185 in number, valued at 147,580,576 marks ; 
timber of all kinds, 195,610,618 marks ; flax-seed and tow, 
184,885,016 marks ; pig bristles, 21,933,102 marks ; and 
hides, 20,393,953 marks. In percentages, timber repre- 
sented 32 per cent., flax about 30 per cent., eggs and 
chickens 25 per cent,, livestock 9*1 per cent., and 
rags 1 per cent. 

Of these exports in 1921, Germany took 51*3 per cent., 
England 27*1 per cent, (chiefly eggs, amounting to 
135,389,000 marks), and Lithuania Minor 14 per cent. 
Very much smaller percentages went to Latvia, Czecho- 
slovakia, Russia, Sweden, Denmark, and America. 

Imports for 1921 amounted to 879,881,930 marks in 
round figures. Of these the most important group 
consisted of textiles, representing 31'5 per cent, of the 
total value. Iron and metal products constituted 18*4 


per cent., sugar 9*5 per cent., herrings 3*5 per cent., 
salt 1-3 per cent., and tobacco and tobacco goods 2 per 
cent, of the total. Among countries of origin, Germany 
heads the list with 70-72 per cent. ; Lithuania Minor 
follows with 11*95 per cent. ; then comes Danzig, 6*79 
per cent. ; Holland, 3'38 per cent. ; America, 3*06 per 
cent. ; Latvia, 1-6 per cent. ; and England, 0'85 per cent. 
Czecho-Slovakia, Italy, Russia and Esthonia, and Japan 
furnished inconsiderable quantities. 

To show the expansion of Lithuania's purchasing power, 
it may be pointed out that her imports for April 1921 
alone, i.e. 70,000,000 marks in value, exceeded by 
10,000,000 marks the total for the first quarter of 1920, 
which was only 60,000,000 marks. In 1920 the imports 
totalled 428,728,541 marks, and the exports 501,797,163 
marks. Given better political conditions, especially the 
removal of the constant Polish menace, greater produc- 
tion and larger exports and imports would be assured. 


Reference has already been made to the Ost currency 
and to the (Government's intention to get rid of this as 
soon as possible in favour of a purely Lithuanian money 
suitably guaranteed with gold. In spite of numerous 
economic and political difficulties, ordinary revenue is 
now sufficient to cover ordinary expenditure, and were it 
not for the exigencies of national defence, more particularly, 
coupled with extraordinary outlays required for con- 
struction (railway stations, workshops, bridges, rolling- 
stock, etc.), there would be no deficit. The direct taxes 
levied by the State are ; Real property tax, tax on 
private forests up to 8 per cent, of sales of timber, 
patents for commerce and industry, progressive inheritance 
tax. Indirect taxes are: Customs duties, taxes on 
matches, tobacco and alcohol, export licences, regis- 
trations and stamp taxes. A liquor sale monopoly, not 
only for revenue, but as a means of coping with intem- 
perance and secret distilling, and a tobacco monopoly 
are contemplated. 


Under the Russo-Lithuanian Peace Treaty of 1920, 
Russia has paid Lithuania the sum of 3,000,000 roubles 
gold, which will probably be utilized in connexion with 
the scheme for an emission bank to help in the extension 
of credit upon reasonable terms to commerce and 

The total State expenses in 1920 amounted to 
422,329,000 marks against a population of 2,500,000, or 
about 170 marks per capita. The expenses in 1921 were 
801,523,000 marks against a population of 2,750,000, an 
average of 291 marks per capita. Revenue for 1920 
amounted to 422,329,209 marks, and for 1921 to 
766,472,729 marks. 

Lithuania's foreign indebtedness is inconsiderable* The 
principal items are : 

To the American Treasury, 882,136 dollars, dating from 
June 30, 1919, for various products, medicines, aid rendered 
to poor children by the American Red Cross, Interest, 
at 5 per cent. ; redeemable June 30, 1922. 

To the American Treasury, 4,159,491 dollars, from 
June 28, 1919, for merchandise received from American 
stocks in France (sugar, tinned goods, medical instruments, 
pharmaceutical supplies, etc.). Interest, 5 per cent. ; 
redeemable June 30, 1922. 

To Great Britain, 16,811 12s. 4d., for tonnage for 
transport of above supplies from France. Interest, 6 per 
cent. ; redeemable January 1, 1925. 

On June 1, 1920, the Government floated the so-called 
" Liberty Loan," which was covered chiefly by Lithuanians 
in the United States, and has realized to date some two 
million dollars. The rate of interest is 5 per cent., and date 
of redemption July 1, 1934. 

The sum of 5,000,000 francs is owing to France 
for locomotives and other material received in 1919. 
About a million francs of this amount has been reim- 

During the occupation Germany advanced merchandise 
and funds amounting to 100,000,000 marks, but as against 
this must be set the enormous values of which the country 
was denuded in foodstuffs and raw material by Germany, 


besides which, under the Versailles Treaty, Germany 

forfeits any claim she may formerly have possessed against 

any of the Border States. 
Among internal loans, the first was floated in 1919, 

for one year, at 5 per cent., and yielded 12,149,200 marks, 

With the exception of 510,000 marks, this loan has already 

been redeemed. 
A second short-term loan at 6 per cent, was floated 

June 15, 1921 and realized 42,000,000 marks. It was 

redeemable in May 1922. 
In August 1921 an internal loan in Treasury Bonds, 

bearing 4 per cent,, was issued, and yielded 4,928,200 

marks. It falls due in 1928. 

In November 1921 an extraordinary loan at 3*6 per 

cent, was floated for purposes of national defence, and 

has yielded to date 27,669,250 marks. It matures in 


Before the war there were 300 State credit establish- 
ments and 500 private establishments, with a capital of 
260,000,000 gold roubles, and savings bank deposits 
amounted to 160,000,000 gold roubles. There were also 
184 separate co-operative organizations, with 75,521 
members, and a capital of 9,000,000 roubles. These 
organizations also had their own banks. Although the 
post-bellum figures cannot yet vie with the foregoing, a 
steady revival has set in, the co-operative movement being 
particularly strong. The following figures bear witness to 
the recent growth of this movement : In 1919 (from March 
to December) there were registered 261 co-operatives, com- 
posed of 253 consumers* societies, 6 producers* societies, 
and 2 agricultural societies. In 1920 (January to 
December) 78 were registered, composed of 59 consumers* 
societies, 15 producers* societies, 3 agricultural societies, 
and 1 cultural society. In 1921 42 were registered, 
viz* 25 consumers*, 8 producers', 6 cultural, and 3 
agricultural societies. In January 1922 6 were registered, 
i.e. 5 consumers* and 1 cultural. The total from March 
1919 to January 1922 is therefore 387, i.e. consumers', 
342; producers', 29; agricultural, 8*; and cultural, 8. 
Of the foregoing societies, however, the accounts of only 


85 are available at the time of writing with regaid to 
operations for 1919 and 1920. These show : 

Various goods . . . - . . . . 3,776,282 

Cash in hand 920,975 

Capital 1,435,946 

Turnover 17,314,298 

The net profit was 1,435,936 marks, out of which 62,877 
marks were allotted in dividends to 13,561 members. The 
co-operative movement in Lithuania is worthy of serious 
attention from British business circles, since its ubiquity 
should afford them the most direct medium for getting 
into touch with general purchasers. 

Several banks have been established since the war, 
and are rapidly extending their sphere of usefulness. 
They comprise the following : 

Agricultural Bank (Ukio Bankas), with 10,000,000 
marks capital, and deposits totalling 47,000,000 marks. 

The Bank of Industry and Commerce (Prekybos ir 
Pramones Bankas), capital 12,000,000 marks, and deposits 
27,700,000 marks, 

International Bank (Tarptautinis Bankas), capital 
5,000,000 marks, deposits 16,675,000 marks. 

Commercial Bank (Komercijos Bankas), capital 4,000,000 
marks, deposits 48,000,000 marks. 

Central Jewish Co-operative Bank (Centr. zydu kopera- 
cijai remti Bankas), capital 3,010,000 marks, deposits 
5,500,000 marks. 

Bank of Credit (Kredito Bankas), capital 3,000,000 marks, 
deposits 5,700,000 marks. 

A very appreciable increase of banking investments 
has followed in the wake of the peace treaty with Russia, 
and a satisfactory settlement of the Polish-Lithuanian 
dispute would undoubtedly encourage still further develop- 
ment in this direction. 

The project for an Emission Bank, already referred to 
elsewhere, contemplates the formation of a joint-stock 
company* The shares will be nominal, two-thirds being 
reserved for Lithuanian citizens and the remaining third 
open to foreign subscription. The proposed capital is 
2,000,000 gold dollars. The manager of the bank and one 


of his assistants will be appointed by the Government, 
while one other assistant and two directors will be elected 
by the shareholders. One of the directors will be 
a foreigner. The Council of Administration will consist 
of nine members, i.e. a managing director, two assistants, 
and six members elected by the shareholders. Two places 
will be reserved for foreigners. The bank's monopoly 
will be for fifteen years. The notes issued are to be 
guaranteed up to one-third by a reserve of precious metal, 
and the remainder by foreign securities or merchan- 
dise. The right of emission is limited to 3,000,000,000 
" auksinas," any extension beyond that requiring parlia- 
mentary sanction. 

The proposed creation of a national currency to replace 
the depreciated Ost mark is associated with the foregoing 
project. The unit will be the ** auksinas," equal to l/200th 
of a gold dollar. This money will be issued in the near 
future, as soon as the Emission Bank can be organized. 
Negotiations were actually begun in March 1922 between 
representatives of the German Reich and Darlehnskasse 
Ost, on the one hand, and representatives of the Lithuanian 
State, on the other, for the liquidation of the Ost currency, 
but are not yet terminated. 


The total railway mileage for all Lithuania is 1,552 
miles, of which 1,180 miles are broad gauge and the rest 
narrow gauge. The roadbeds are generally in good 
condition, but the ties need replacing. Thirty per cent, 
of the railway stations were destroyed during the war, 
but have been provisionally rebuilt, as also the bridges, 
most of which are wood. Rolling-stock is greatly needed. 
The Lithuanian railways in 1913 yielded a gross revenue 
of about 2,400,000 ; net revenue, without deduction for 
sinking-fund, new equipment, etc., about 1,300,000. 
Under the terms of the agreement between the Allied 
Military Mission and the German Railway Administration, 
Lithuania was to receive 88 locomotives and 1,400 cars from 
Germany, for damage inflicted by the Bermondt invasion, 


but at the time of writing the complement had not yet 
been handed over. The lines in 1921-22 yielded an income 
of 114,942,000 marks, but showed a small net deficit in 
comparison with outlays. Any comparison between pre- 
war and post-war figures under this head must not lose 
sight of the fact that through the Polish occupation of the 
Vilnius territory the Lithuanian Government is deprived 
of a very important portion of the total railway net- 

The system as a whole was bequeathed to the country 
by the Russians, and in part was altered during the 
German occupation. When planned by Russia the lines 
were intended to serve the needs of Russian export, or 
they pursued purely strategic alms. They are not, there- 
fore, properly adapted to the economic and geographic 
requirements of the country. The Lithuanian Govern- 
ment is now considering a project for a network of broad- 
gauge lines better suited to these national needs, supple- 
menting the present system with lines of perhaps more 
local importance, especially to feed the comparatively 
neglected districts, as regards communications, and thus 
facilitate the growth of agriculture, commerce and industry 
throughout the country. 


The Nemunas (Niemen), the country's -greatest river, 
is 961 kilometres in length, its source being in White 
Russia. Its lower reaches, 112 kilometres in length, form 
the boundary between East Prussia and Lithuania Minor. 
The Nemunas is open only during four or five months of 
the year over a stretch of 200 kilometres from its mouth, 
and its navigable portion in Lithuanian territory, from 
Jurburg to Kovno, does not exceed 110 kilometres, and 
even this stretch is only suitable for the rafting of timber. 
Owing to the prevalence of shallows, rapids and sandbanks, 
navigation is attended with numerous difficulties. The 
principal tributary of the Nemunas, the Vilija, or Neris, is 
navigable for small steamers for 45 miles. The Nemunas 
thus forms tbe backbone of Lithuania's system of com- 


munications. The mouth of this river on the Baltic has 
hitherto been in the hands of the Germans, whose traditional 
intention, as I have pointed out in the chapter on the 
Memel question, has been to control the foreign trade of 
Lithuania and to debar the country from independent 
access to the sea. 

The economic policy outlined by the new Lithuanian 
Government is based upon free initiative and free competi- 
tion. It will be the aim of the Government to afford 
foreign capital an opportunity to participate in the develop- 
ment of the country's trade, in the case of States which 
harbour no designs to oppress or crush Lithuania 

Under satisfactory conditions, the safeguarding against 
attack from without, more particularly, Lithuania should 
be assured a highly prosperous future. Before the war, 
the Virbalis station (Wirballen), on the Russo-East Prussian 
frontier, was one of the most important continental customs 
points for trade between Western Europe and Russia, 
and as the quickest transit route in this respect, Lithuania 
should play a leading r61e hereafter in the rehabilitation 
of economic intercourse between Russia and the outside 


With the substitution of a genuinely native regime for 
what before the war was a purely Russian administration, 
in the confines of the present Lithuanian State, and German 
domination during the period of occupation, the new leaders 
of the nation had to face the herculean task of effecting 
transition from one language to the other in every branch 
of public and official life. It was one thing, and a com- 
paratively simple thing at that, to replace Russian with 
Lithuanian in the colloquial intercourse of all departments 
and those having dealings with them ; it was another, 
aad an immeasurably more difficult thing, to dispense with 
the heritage of Russian practice embodied in written 
laws and regulations applicable to every conceivable 
official contingency. Indeed, it would have been physically 
impossible, e^en if it had been desirable, to do this 


immediately. With a prudence and wisdom which have 
been conspicuous throughout the regeneration of Lithuanian 
nationality, the new Lithuanian leaders preferred to take 
over Russian law at the outset, but to inaugurate without 
delay the business of translating the same into Lithuanian, 
of adapting it to changed conditions, rejecting parts of 
it no longer in harmony with the principles of a democratic 
State, and gradually codifying it to satisfy the require- 
ments of a thoroughly scientific system* Concurrently, 
the setting up of courts for the dispensation of justice 
has been attended with innumerable difficulties. It had 
been the consistent policy of the old Russian regime to 
suppress the Lithuanian tongue by every conceivable 
means* This has already been shown in previous chapters. 
Thus it followed that many Lithuanians educated in 
Russia had a better literary knowledge of Russian than 
of their native speech. Since the renascence of the 
Lithuanian people all this is being rapidly changed, but 
it has not always been easy to find sufficient trained jurists 
with perfect knowledge of both languages, without which 
the work of codifying the laws in Lithuanian at the present 
moment cannot be satisfactorily accomplished. 

It appears from information furnished by the Lithuanian 
Minister of Justice that a great deal is now being done to 
bring both the courts and the laws in line with modern 
demands. The appeal machinery is being entirely over- 
hauled. The Constituent Assembly has passed a Bill for 
the establishment of a court of cassation to which recourse 
wiH lie from justices of the peace and the district courts. 
At the same time the competence of the various lower 
courts has been largely extended. Formerly justices 
of the peace had no power to deal with cases involving 
sums over a thousand marks. Now, by virtue of the law 
of March 14, 1919, the limit has been raised to five thousand 
marks, except in cases of horse-stealing, which have to go 
to the district courts. A Bill has also been introduced 
increasing the scope of court orders (sudebnye prikazy). 
Hitherto court orders could be issued for fines up to fifty 
roubles, and detention up to fifteen days. The new Bill 
proposes to make court orders applicable to offences 


against the Excise and Customs regulations, secret distilling, 
illegal felling of timber, non-fulfilment of regulations, etc. 
In such cases the justices of the peace, after having 
examined the militia reports and other evidence, and being 
satisfied of the guilt of the accused, may inflict penalties 
by court order. Cases of this kind must be dealt with not 
earlier than twenty-four hours, and not later than seven 
days from the alleged commission of the offence. The 
accused in his turn has the right to appeal to the district 
court. In civil suits, justices of the peace may sit on 
cases involving movables and immovables up to ten 
thousand marks. 

A reform of great importance is the contemplated 
introduction of trial by jury, which has not hitherto been 
in operation. It is now provided that after election of 
an organ of local administration for a term of three years, 
trial by jury may be instituted in the district courts. 
Steps are also being taken to increase facilities for legal 
education, so that the cadre of candidates for judicial 
appointments and court pleading may be far larger than 
at present. 

Under the Law of January 16, 1919, special delegates 
from the Lithuanian Ministry of Justice took over from 
the German courts (Friedensgericht, Bezlrksgericht, 
Obergericht and Kriegsgericht) all cases, documents and 
money. This law provides that in the organization of 
courts, legal proceedings, preliminary hearings and sentences 
in criminal and civil cases, the laws formerly in operation 
during the Russian administration must be applied in 
so far as they do not contradict the Lithuanian Constitution 
and the changes contemplated by the law in question. 

Court proceedings must be conducted in the Lithuanian 
language, protocols, judgments and sentences are written 
in this tongue. Judges must be able to express themselves 
in other local languages (Polish and White Russian) 
where the percentage of non-Lithuanian-speaking citizens 
renders this necessary. Knowledge of Jewish is not 
indicated owing to the small number of lawyers familiar 
with that speech. Where litigants do not understand 
Lithuanian, interpreters are supplied. 


The Criminal Code and Regulations for Bills of Exchange 
(Veksel) are already translated from Russian into 
Lithuanian. In other cases the Russian text may be made 
use of. The work of preparing the Civil and Criminal Codes 
is one of immense difficulty, and cannot be finished in a 
day. The materials necessary for the task are, however, 
being prepared A good deal depends on the consumma- 
tion of ^agrarian reform by the Constituent Assembly, 
the supply of funds, and the reversion of life to normal 

The Minister of Justice is quoted as saying that since 
the cessation of the German occupation there has been 
a steady diminution of crime. Stern measures have been 
adopted to deal with lawlessness, including the introduc- 
tion of martial law. The militia also have gradually 
improved and gathered experience, so that they too are 
better able to cope with crime. Horse-stealing and 
secret distilling are among the most prevalent offences* 


WBITEBS like Vidunas and Salkauskis have indulged 
in very acute analysis of the Lithuanian character, but 
although Lithuanians themselves, they have never written 
anything more flattering about their own people than 
foreign investigators, preferably Russian* German and 
French, who have all been most powerfully impressed 
by the distinctive traits of this interesting race. In the 
following pages, therefore, I have drawn largely upon 
such sources for a brief pen picture of both its intellectual 
and physical aspects. 

Lithuanians and Slavs (says a well-known Russian author, 
Viatcheslav Ivanov) are two branches of the same family ; but 
the memory of the Aryan cradle is more ahve among the Lithuanians 
than among us. In the ultimate life of the village, the thought 
and tradition of the old, in the living tissue of the language, in the 
respiration even of that collective being which we call the soul 
of a people, still vibrate the chords of the antique conception of 
tha world. Above this little people the old mythical oak extends 
its moving branches, which still put forth an invisible efflorescence 
and murmur the indistinct whisper of its omniscience, and across 
the veil where now is hesitating the luminous regard of man, of 
people of antique calm, contemplate the intense life of nature in 
its most secret depths. 

E. R6clus, in his Universal Geography, has attempted 
to sketch the Lithuanian national temperament in more 
concrete lines: 

A people of woodmen, of waggoners, of cultivators, very much 
attached to traditional customs, the Lithuanians willingly submit 
to destiny and do not seek to influence it beforehand by their will. 
The pi^egm of the Lithuanians has become proverbial ; no other 
people accommodates itself with such tranquillity to the vicissitudes 
of life. 



&alkauskis, in his remarkable study Sur les Confins 
de Deux Mondes, finds that the foregoing comment 
calls for some modification. He adds that when the 
necessity arises the Lithuanian will deploy his forces and 
unchain his anger. He who reacts feebly to the ordinary 
blows and shocks of life, responds suddenly with surprising 
violence when his patience and his endurance are at an 
end. Concentrated in himself, more inclined to contempla- 
tion than to action, the Lithuanian manifests this tempera- 
ment in his exterior. "The peasants of Lithuania/* 
writes R4clus, " contrast singularly with the Poles in 
the simplicity of their costume. They avoid striking 
colours, claring fashions, lace and fringe. Their sombre 
clothing without embroidery attests their national modesty ; 
they do not try to make themselves conspicuous. Michelet, 
comparing the Lithuanians with the Poles, c sons of the 
sun, 5 calls them * sons of the shadow. 5 " 

The popular poesy of the Lithuanians has inspired in 
R^clus the following description of their moral traits : 

Their songs or dainos reveal their naked soul. They are acute 
observers, sometimes gently ironical, tender, melancholy, full of 
the sentiment of nature. Although they have often been obliged 
to make war and have also possessed great leaders, these 
debonair people have not preserved the memory of a single 
hero ; they sing of no exploit of -war, they do not boast of any 
battle won; they confine themselves to bewailing those who are 
dead. In this respect they are perhaps unique among European 
peoples. They are distinguished also from other continental 
races by the delicate reserve, by the modest discretion with 
which all their popular songs speak of love. 

Such, then, is the Lithuanian as Nature made 
This passive temperament germane to the Oriental excited 
the curiosity of Reclus, who wrote : 

The people, for long oppressed by the forests of the Niemen, are 
not of those who can compare their share of influence with that 
which the other civilized peoples of the continent have exercised. 
* One asks oneself even -with surprise how a race composed almost 
entirely of men, refined, intelligent, full of imagination and poesy, 
"loyal, strong in the consciousness of their personal dignity" 
(Kant, preface to M2&e*s Lithuanian Grammar), had not been able 
to give birth to a single great poet oir**o some eminent genius in 
the world of mind, 


In the opinion of Salkauskis, much of the seeming 
paradox in Lithuanian character may be explained by 
the meeting of East and West on Lithuanian soiL 
Lithuania has passed through both the active and passive 
phases. Provoked fay the invasions of her neighbours, she, 
so to speak, emerged from herself and from her passivity 
to come into contact with diverse nations, above all the 
Russian, the Polish and the German. Thus she acquired 
the active temperament hitherto lacking. Then, yielding 
to the return wave, her national spirit, now capable of 
creating, enters again into itself and works on the synthesis 
of the primitive Oriental elements and the Occidental 
elements thus acquired. " It is in this period," Salkauskis 
adds, " that the Lithuanian people find themselves to-day ; 
their renascence dates from the day when they entered 
into it." 

Further : 

The productions of the Lithuanian national intellect differ as 
the latter is subjected to the action and influence of oae or other 
of the above-mentioned nations. In relation with Russia and in 
the domain of Greco-Russian civilization, Lithuania endeavoured 
to establish between the Orient and Occident a material and 
political equilibrium. Her external activity expended itself in' 
the struggle against Tartars and Teutons, and her internal activity 
manifested itself in the legislative function by the elaboration of 
the famous Lithuanian Statute, superior to anything that the 
Russian people had attempted till then in that line. 

At critical moments in Lithuanian history the Lithuanian 
temperament has shown itself capable of amazing effort, in 
the Xlth century^ for example, when the pressure of neigh- 
bouring peoples provoked on the part of the Lithuanians 
an energetic resistance which, from legitimate defence, 
soon transformed itself into an expansion of conquest ; 
and again in the XlXth century, when the crushing weight 
of an alien yoke stimulated the impetus of the national 
renascence and gave it an irresistible vitality. When 
reacting on the first-named occasion the Lithuanian genius 
prepared the creation of a strong aad powerful State ; 
to-day the momentum of its energy has led it into a, path 
on which it will not stop until it has assured its national 


independence. Although several centuries divide the two 
epochs, and although the present-day activity of the 
Lithuanians is taking a different direction, Salkauskis 
detects a very close linjk between them : 

It is because in their efforts to create for the assistance of the 
State a national civilization the Lithuanians were obliged not only 
to give way, but even to submit at first to the influence and subse- 
quently to the domination of the foreigner, that we see them to-day, 
in order to recover their independence, working with ardour in the 
acquisition of a superior intellectual culture. 

Turning from these more or less philosophical aspects 
of the question to rather more concrete considerations, 
I will quote what Vidunas has written about the physical 
characteristics of his countrymen and women : 

1 The true Lithuanian type (he says) is slender and above rather 
than below the medium height. It has blue eyes, fair hair, a fresh 
and healthy complexion. To designate this there are in Lithuanian 
several expressions. It is above all the complexion of young 
Lithuanian women that particularly strikes one. It is white, 
delicate, with a beautiful rose colour in the cheeks. The lips are 
exceptionally fresh. Women in good health, who have not been 
guilty of excesses, preserve all this splendour till a ripe age, whether 
they are married or not. . . . Persons with black hair and eyes 
also possess this white and delicate skin. The stranger is often 
inclined to think artificial colour has been applied, whereas the 
true Lithuanian woman, in place of all that, rehes upon fresh air, 
good water and her own clean and pure blood. The face is long, 
with a broad and prominent brow, the lower part of the face being 
often small and narrow; the jaws, on the other hand, are pro- 
jecting. Here probably is a characteristic resulting from a Mon- 
golian strain. A remarkable thing, which one frequently encounters, 
is the classic profile with the straight line from brow to nose. The 
limbs are long and thin, the foot very arched, the Lithuanian having 
a light and easy step, to describe which the language possesses 
a series of expressions. He is also naturally skilful in all sorts of 
work, thanks undoubtedly to a special disposition hi muscles and 
limbs, without which this skill of the Lithuanian would not have 
become proverbial. 

Vidunas also remarks on the absence of grossness from 
Lithuanian speech, in contrast to the German of corres- 
ponding social position : 

It is,, above all, in his relations with Nature that one can note 
the sensibility of the Lithuanian. Everything alive is for him 


connected with man, and he moulds his line of 
idea. In his songs he treats the trees as if they were his^s. who 
The song of the cuckoo is a greeting from loved beings, so mu^ 
so that he will even imagine that his mother or little sister has 
assumed the form of the bird which is fluttering above his head. 
Among animals the horse is above all the object of his tenderness 
Preference for the horse is certainly something innate in him. It 
can be remarked among the children of both sexes. And many 
persons claim to be able to tell merely by seeing whether horses 
have been bred and cared for by Lithuanians, The Lithuanian 
horse is not only an instrument of toil ; it is also a friend to man. 
It gives the impression of having learnt to suffer and rejoice with 

The idea that Nature is an intermediary between men, that she 
takes part in their joys and sorrows, is very strong among the 
Lithuanians. The forests and the thickets sigh with him ; the 
flowers and the sun's rays rejoice with him, and the light of the 
stars accompanies him for consolation. 

Particularly marked is the Lithuanian's passion for trees. 
In his eyes there is something sacred in the forest, and 
he loves to live in a home surrounded with woods. 
Practical needs seem a secondary consideration. That 
is why in his songs and legends he returns constantly 
to the forest. 

That a race possessing these distinguished character- 
istics should have exercised comparatively so little influ- 
ence upon European civilization, Vidunas explains by its 
relatively numerical weakness, by the lack of a national 
organization absolutely necessary for the development 
of internal forces, and above all by the fact that Lithuanian 
intelligence has been constantly at the service of other 
nations, and has apparently never had a proper chance 
of asserting itself* But study of the proverbs and sayings 
of the Lithuanians, of their popular tales and poems, 
will convince one of their quite exceptional sagacity. 

A very refreshing Lithuanian trait is a freedom of 
attitude which makes no distinction between classes ; 
a typical Lithuanian will bear himself the same in the 
presence of a lord or a beggar. The Lithuanian is a man' 
of his word. The head or father of the family gives his 
orders in the fewest words, but without appeal. 

One can have entire confidence in the promise of a 


. , , Even to-day large sums pass from hand to 
w ju on the simple word without written acknowledg- 

Despite centuries of political dependence, the Lithuanian 
has not lost a certain masterful temperament. This has 
nothing in common with the wish to enslave others, but 
is rather a feeling of pure personal dignity. With this 
is combined another trait less strongly marked in other 
races. He does not fear solitude, which for him is often a 
kind of refuge from which perhaps emanates the primitive 
44 atomic " character of the Lithuanian national life, the 
want of harmony which one may even observe to-day, 
although the suffering of recent decades has wrought 
marvels in this direction. 

In his intercourse with strangers the Lithuanian is 
generally reserved and chary of speech. Although the lan- 
guage lends itself admirably to eloquence, the Lithuanian, 
until he knows you well, is laconic, and rarely disposed 
to mingle in conversation unless this touches ppon a 
subject interesting to him as a Lithuanian, while a 
momentary outburst is often succeeded by relapse into 
contemplative calm. 

Other impressive qualities are boldness, tenacity of 
purpose and an iron will. Once a Lithuanian has resolved 
to embark upon a given course of action nothing will 
turn him from his purpose. At the present day these 
traits* sometimes degenerating into obstinacy, manifest 
themselves in an inordinate love for litigation which 
is keeping the newly-established courts decidedly 

The Lithuanian considers that his own penetration and 
decision have a value superior to any money. He will 
neglect no sacrifice for that which he deems good and 
just. He gives himself completely to the thing or the 
person that he honours. If he is deceived he does not 
take vengeance. His attitude is rather one of shame 
mingled with contempt shame for the unworthiness 
of the erstwhile object of his respect. In one of his 
stories Wichert has made good use of this characteristic. 
He does not make the lover slay the betrayer of his fiancfe ; 


Instead the lover himself commits suicide* la rea* 
however, suicide is very rare among the Lithuanians, who 
throughout the centuries have remained singularly immune 
from the phenomena of degeneracy. 

Forbearance and a too trusting disposition are typical 
Lithuanian qualities which run through history. It was 
thus that Keistutis fell into the hands of Jagellon. It 
was thus that Vytautas lost his great battle against the 
Tartars, And this disposition was largely responsible 
for the fatal union with Poland which the Council of the 
League of Nations would fain have the Lithuania of 
to-day repeat. On the other hand, the Lithuanian does 
not easily forget a betrayal of his confidence, as the Poles 
are now finding to their cost. The latter's flagrant 
breach of the Suvalkai agreement has from the first 
proved a stumbling-block to any modus vivendi. 

The Lithuanian is temperamentally religious. He is 
much given to acts of devotion in which singing largely 
figures. In many homes a verse is sung before every 
meal. And before the commencement of a religious 
service, those who have assembled will sing with extra- 
ordinary fervour hymns which they themselves have 
selected. One or two will begin, others will join, and soon 
the entire company will be singing together* Hymns 
set to some ancient popular melody are generally 

Among the Lithuanians there still survive numerous 
superstitions which are generally regarded as heritages 
of their former Paganism. Belief in the supernatural 
is very common and in certain of its forms this belief 
may be an echo of the cult of the dead and of ancestor 
worship. A rather voluminous collection of materials 
on this subject has been made by Vilius Kalvaitis and 
edited by Dr. Basauavicius under the title of Gyvenimo 
t Veliq bei Velnty (Life of Ghosts and Devils), Chicago, 1903. 
During recent years, too, a large number of religious 
fanatics 'and faith-healers of various kinds have made 
their appearance in Lithuania, as elsewhere. The names 
of some of these are still remembered. Vidunas mentions 
one Piklaps who functioned in the Memel region about 



,, ; also Rodszuweit of Kartsninkai, near Pillkallen, 

between 1870 and 1880. In many villages zinciai, or 

persons capable of curing both corporal and spiritual 

maladies, are held in high esteem and are often consulted 

in preference to regular doctors. 


IN past times the inhabitants were distributed in scattered 
groups dwelling each, so to speak, in a sort of oasis hemmed 
in by fields and dense forests belonging to nobody. Even 
to-day in many of the older villages the arrangement of 
houses on either side of an interminable street, so favoured 
in Russia Proper, is less in evidence* 

Where the older practice prevails, we find each farm 
absolutely isolated, with its own special entrance. The 
buildings rise in the midst of a garden which is surrounded 
with groves of birch, fir or oak and, in sandy regions, 
pine. That is why these farms are termed "sodiba," 
which means plantation. 

Formerly a Lithuanian farm comprised a row of houses 
sometimes to the number of twenty. The grouping of 
these houses around the main dwelling was characteristic. 
The latter was called " namas,'* i.e. the home, 

Yidunas thus describes his parents* farm as it was 
somewhat later than 1850. In the middle of the garden 
rose the principal building, the "namas." About ten 
metres to the side of the latter was the ** kletis/* or store- 
house, two storeys high, with a large verandah, approached 
by two stone steps. Around the kletis were clumps 
of birch and maple. A little farther to the side of the 
kletis was a building for the storage of all sorts of imple- 
ments. Beneath was a cellar into which one descended 
by steps in the wall. By the side of this building was 
a space enclosed with a hedge made of interlaced osiers. 
In the centre was a pond surrounded by grass in summer. 
Here the poultry disported themselves during the day, 
while at night they took refuge behind in the fowl roost. 



On the other side of the main building stretched the 
larger part of the orchard traversed by a path leading to 
the spring. Behind the latter, separated by a hedge, 
extended a large open space covered with turf, forming 
the farmyard, around which were grouped the various 
stables and sheds for cattle, horses, sheep, etc. 

Near the orchard was a space for hemp and hops ; 
many bee-hives were also kept. By the side of the dwelling 
house, some distance outside the garden, was the thrash- 
ing floor with the baths (pirtis). In the direction of 
the stables were several additional houses where the 
families of the servants and other lodgers had their 

To-day this arrangement of buildings is rarely found. 
The farm in question has been gradually transformed into 
a typical model of the German farm. 

The most interesting building of the Lithuanian farm 
is the kletis which is also called " svirnas." Although 
usually styled loosely a storehouse, Vidtmas points out 
that in reality it is much more than that, as the numerous 
wooden carvings of the interior should indicate. In 
popular songs the kletis is always the centre of sentimental 
life. The girls of the household used to have their bed- 
rooms in the kletis, and on the verandah they were 
accustomed to pursue their daily manual tasks. Close 
by the kletis was the flower garden of the daughters of 
the house where they grew rue throughout the summer. 
For the Lithuanian the kletis embodies all that he has 
acquired through the sweat of his brow ; it is the spot 
towards which his thoughts ever turn, whereby the farm, 
the "sodiba" has its raison <Ptre and from which the 
' farm and family issue and are renewed. 

The house, properly speaking, and also the other buildings 
are for the most part constructed of wood, which is only 
natural in so heavily timbered a land as Lithuania, 
a large doorway one enters a spacious apartment 
i opposite end of which is another door. This room 
rhaps be regarded as a sort of vestibule, although 
ishing gives it another signification. The walls 
are hungs with all kinds of household utensils. In the 


middle of one oT the side walls is a huge fireplace sur- 
mounted by a chimney the " dumlakas," from " dumas," 
smoke, and " h kinti," to cause to fly. Besides the 
central apartmen there are two others which occupy 
the extremities of **he building, and these again are often 
divided into two. The windows are small, as in nearly 
all farmhouses of every nation. The frames are generally 
painted white, the shutters in green or blue^but this again 
is not peculiar to the Lithuanians. 

But originally this division into three apartments did 
not obtain in Lithuania. Descriptions of past centuries 
agree in declaring that formerly Lithuanian houses 
consisted of but the one room, which may help to explain 
why even to-day the same word is often used to signify- 
both the chamber and the house. 

The oldest part of the house divided into three is the 
** namas," home. It is the site of the hearth or fireplace 
which formerly was in the middle of the room : a fire 
was kept constantly burning. This house was the centre 
of the farm where all the members of the family who had 
their lodging outside assembled. Vidunas opines that 
the old hearth may possibly have been copied from the 
scene of Lithuanian fire-worship, and adds that certain 
religious rites used to be practised by the hearth until 
modern times, albeit not in Russian Lithuania. 

The other rooms of the Lithuanian dwelling serve for 
working and sleep. These were formerly situated in 
separate buildings but are now united under one roof. 
The working house, for example, where the women did 
their needlework and weaving, and the men kept their 
tools, has become the chamber most frequented by the 
members of the household. By the side of the stove was 
a niche in the wall where cooking was done in the winter 
on a portable hearth, the smoke escaping by a hole through 
the wall* The former sleeping house in many cases has 
become a convenient reception room. 

A tendency still further to subdivide these rooms may 
sometimes be observed. The old desire to build many 
houses has given place to the multiplication of small 
rooms. To-day the Lithuanian almost always terms Ms 


home " nsmai," the plural form of " namas," probably 
because several houses are now joined iato one. 

The interior of a peasant's cottage d *es not reveal so 
easily as a more pretentious house its Lit iuanian character, 
because it is often in almost imperceptible details that 
history manifests itself. The roof ard walls are planked, 
and the earth is flagged* Wooden benches are ranged 
against the walls, and in one corner is a well scrubbed 
table. Near the entrance is a large stove surrounded by 
a ledge or in lieu thereof a bench. From the ceiling, 
attached to a branch, hangs an elongated basket made 
of birch boughs. This is the "lopschis," the baby's 
cradle. Thanks to the elasticity of the branch this cradle 
can be very easily rocked. The depth of the " lopschis," 
as well as the large amount of cord with which it is tied 
to the branch make it impossible for the child to fall. 

Most of the articles in the room are carvings or pictures 
of various kinds. The Lithuanian has always been 
celebrated for this sort of work. As far back as the X Vllth 
century a writer, speaking about the skill of the Lithu- 
anian, quotes the proverb, "The Lithuanian rides on 
horseback into the forest and returns therefrom in a 
coach. 55 

Nearly all Lithuanian graves are surmounted by large 
wooden crosses, though sometimes iron is used for this 
purpose instead of wood. Frequently the tombstones 
are of curious shape, which is not without traditional 
meaning and probably associated with mystical ideas. 
A reproduction of the human body is often very striking ; 
similarly birds are occasionally depicted in flight, whilst 
a triangle finishes off the tombstone. Here also the 
Lithuanian penchant for lively colours (other than in 
dress) asserts itself. 

A very singular article used in the house was the 
" zibintas " a receptacle, very often lavishly carved, 
which contained the chips and shavings with which the 
chamber of the spinning women was illuminated. As 
everywhere in peasants* houses, the spinning room was 
the hall of songs and stories. And every one of these 
old zibintas, with its bizarre paintings and motley 


carvings, has heard almost ail of them, while lighting the 
labours of many generations of toilers. 

Another interesting object is the " kanklys," a species 
of zither, which is also always carved* The kanklys 
is really an appendage of the zibintas, for it was in the 
nature of a fete when a " kanklyninkas " performed in 
the women's spinning room in much the same way as 
the peripatetic rhapsodist of the ancient Greeks. The 
kanklyninkas sang or recited to the accompaniment of 
his instrument. 

Dress among the Lithuanians has altered with the 
times as in every other country ; but throughout cer- 
tain characteristic features have survived. Old drawings 
indicate that the principal article of clothing for both 
sexes was a long garment of white linen resembling a 
shirt. Over this was worn a robe of various colours, 
which the wearer adjusted to suit his own fancy. Later, 
towards the XVth and XYIth century, two of these upper 
garments were worn. One end would be brought under 
the arms and fixed to the shoulder with a clasp. The 
two pieces of material crossed naturally at the back 
and in front. A belt above the hips gave stability to 
the whole. Often the upper garments would be simply 
white instead of coloured. 

Colours were worn for joyous occasions, white being 
usual for graver festivals. This custom has survived to 
our own day as indicated in Lithuanian popular songs. 
Engravings of the XVIIth century (Pretorius) show that 
in place of wearing over the loose white imder-garment 
two large pieces of material, women and young girls 
often wore two small pieces which descended from the 
hips at the sides, another in front and a fourth behind* 
Another garment would also be worn over these, white 
in hue. Embroidery and ornamentation woven into 
the white garments have always been popular. 

In" winter furs were worn. The feminine headgear 
called "kyka" has been retained till the present day* 
Young girls had their hair either unplatted, tied with a 
ribbon and adorned with a crown of rue which was gathered 
daily in the garden, or plaited and coiffured in different 


styles* But the last-named usage did not become general 
until recent times. On the feet shoes of leather or bark 
were worn. Sabots were unknown among the Lithuanians 
until the XVHIth century. 

At that date Lepner speaks about two white under- 
garments, which the Lithuanians wore in the Prussian 
region. The lower part of the body was covered with 
several garments already described, but over these was 
placed a sleeved coat, coloured blue or green, with a 
broad yellow collar, and cuffs of the same colour on very 
wide sleeves. For ceremonial occasions this coat was 
worn longer than in ordinary life. Over this again was 
put a linen garment entirely white. Shoes or boots, 
worn instead of bark slippers, were of drab leather. 

Male dress has always been simpler than that of women. 
An upper garment with sleeves formed the man's entire 
equipment. In summer the upper garment was of white 
linen, in winter white or brown or grey wool. A belt 
encircled the body and was fastened with a buckle. Later 
the men wore an overcoat of grey cloth with a straight 
collar and wide skirts with black borders. On the head 
was a felt hat or in winter a leather cap. 

In the XEXth century the women generally wore a 
robe instead of all the pieces of material above described. 
The name of these garments, which hung from the body 
or which enveloped the latter, has been transferred to 
the robe. They were in strips or squares, bright or sombre 
in colour, and were called " margine " or " inodine." 
Women now also wear a bodice imported by immigrants, 
the Salzbourgeois. It is often red or green, though in 
many places black is preferred. The taste for sombre 
colours is well developed, above all in the regions where 
a certain religious spirit drawn from the experience of 
life prevails, and where there is less belief in the prolonga- 
tion of that wMch is essentially Lithuanian. 

It is gratifying to be able to state that petticoats are 
generally short. Young girls and women wear white 
stockings and low shoes. The story that stockings were 
formerly unknown to the Lithuanians and that in their 
stead they were in the habit of wrapping their feet in 


cloth or liner^ i^ devoid of all foundation. The word 
employed to designate Russian socks, i.e. "autas, M 
which means something which is drawn on like a boot, 
for example, serves to disprove the older report* But 
as Vidunas says, the frequency of such inanities at the 
expense of the Lithuanians suggests either a deliberate 
desire to depict the people as devoid of all civilization 
or is due simply to crass ignorance. 

Neither the bodice nor corset has come into general 
use, though the latter has always been worn in the form 
of a shirt-waist termed " papetis," which is often richly 
embroidered at the collar, sleeves and shoulders. Vidunas 
denies the allegation that the Lithuanians learned the art 
of embroidery from immigrants, the Lithuanian language 
being particularly copious in expressions having to do 
with needlework. Moreover, it would be impossible to 
explain the universal inclination for work of this kind by 
mere imitation. Besides, productions of the seamstress's 
art are comparatively more numerous in Lithuania than 
among her neighbours of other nationalities. Embroidery 
on white material has ever been held in the highest esteem 
among Lithuanians, whilst embroidery in colours was 
in fashion for everyday use. It is only during the last 
dozen years or so that the latter has become somewhat 
neglected. The upper garment of blue or green mentioned 
by Lepner was still worn in the XTXth century and was 
called "pamustine." It was frequently lined with fur > 
the straight collar of sable and the shoulders adorned 
with multicoloured embroideries. 

Great attention is devoted to the coiffure. The older 
practice of wearing the hair flowing loose has been entirely 
abandoned. The hair is now carefully parted and some- 
times plaited over the ears. If the hair was not very 
thick, women until recently would introduce into their 
tresses, as a sort of " transformation," some wool red, 
yellow* green, black or white in colour. On the other 
hand, if the hair was abundant, a black or coloured band 
was bound round the head with some white ornament 
in front called "raistis*" In a series of oil paintings 
Edward Gisevius has shown samples of the Lithuanian 


*/wfTA mri h^/Wrpss, The Lithuanian. Literary Society 
of Tilsit possesses several specimens* 

Formerly the Lithuanians did not wear aprons, this 
fashion having been borrowed from immigrants. But 
until lately they often wore broad sashes, the long ends 
of which, ornamented with tassels, hung down at the side. 
This sash, styled "juosta," was very popular and still 
is, Lithuanian women spending a great deal of time in 
its preparation. The juosta also figures largely in love 
and is a favourite theme of sentimental ditties. The 
successful swain makes a juosta for his well beloved either 
as a sash or a collar. The symbols woven into it to 
form a scheme of ornament are not merely haphazard 
but until recently bore a special meaning, in this regard 
recalling Hindu necklaces with their magic formulas 
of love and healing. 

White as a colour for dress enjoyed a great vogue up 
to about 1890 in the region of Sesupe. Worshippers 
at church thus attired offered a striking spectacle. The 
value of one's wardrobe was estimated chiefly by its 
rich embroideries and artistic texture. It is curious 
that the older forms of dress have survived longer in 
Prussian than in Russian Lithuania. As recently as 
1907 there was a wonderful display of national costumes 
on Lithuanian fte days at Tilsit. On one occasion 
about three thousand persons assembled and prizes were 
given for the most beautiful Lithuanian costumes. 

Turning to Lithuanian habits and customs, here also 
rural life provides the best field for their study, as it is 
the peasant who adheres most closely to tradition. " My 
mother (or father) used to do that," is a remark frequently 
heard from young Lithuanians. Among the peasantry 
the apportionment of time is largely determined by the 
exigencies of agriculture and stock-breeding. Only the 
more striking details can be mentioned here. The love 
of the Lithuanian for song everywhere and almost at 
all times is most marked. In those homes where the 
religious spirit is predominant the singing of a hymn 
constitutes the first and last collective act of the day. 
A verse is sung before meals, before starting out on a 


journey, or undertaking some difficult task, etc. In 
those homes where religion plays a less prominent rQle 
& popular song or an amusing story takes the place of 
the hymn. This characteristic Lithuanian trait manifests 
itself especially on important occasions of life weddings, 
paptisms, funerals, harvest festivals, common tasks the 
Building of a house, removal, etc. While no exhaustive 
Description can be given here, it must be repeated that 
the song enjoys everywhere a preponderant importance, 
above all at a wedding. 

Even during the preliminaries, the demand in marriage 
by the intermediary called "pirsHs," the negotiations 
usually terminate with a chanted phrase. The cele- 
bration, which begins at the place whence one of the 
two contracting parties sets out, consists of a series of 
customs always accompanied by a song of greater or lesser 
length. The old woman of the house, where thereafter 
the young spouse is to rule, places a bonnet on the latter's 
head to a vocal accompaniment, and the young wife 
is installed in her duties in the same musical fashion. 
Every service rendered the bride on the day of her nuptials 
is paid for by her with things made by her own hand, such 
as gloves of various colours, sashes, ribbons, chemises, 
table napkins, etc. Everywhere and always the song 
has its place. It might almost be said that a Lithuanian 
marriage resembles an opera. Indeed one of the best 
Lithuanian composers of the day, Mikas Petrauskas, 
las introduced into his operetta "Vestuves " (The Marriage) 
Tactual popular motifs, at the same time adhering strictly 
to traditional usages, so that his work is really an artistic 
representation of the Lithuanian wedding. 

During a wedding there are of course all sorts of games. 
Dancing is very popular. Among the latter may be 
mentioned the dance of the hat which is executed only 
by men ; then the dance of the rue performed only by 
young girls. There are others in which the two sexes 
join. At the same time these dances are not simply 
movements to music, but, as in ancient times, constitute 
the expression of specific ideas and sentiments. At 
one stage there appeared some danger of these interesting 



dances being forgotten, but of recent years they have been 
revived, I can add from personal observation that the 
sense of rhythm is innate to the Lithuanian. I recall 
on one occasion taking a London newspaper correspondent 
to see a popular ball in Kaunas. The floor was packed 
with couples who would promenade during the intervals 
between the dances ; but within a few seconds from the 
resumption of the orchestra every couple had fallen into 
place, and so perfect was the ** tempo" that a huge 
blanket might have covered the heads of the crowd without 
losing its surface smoothness. The hideous one-step 
of Occidental society had not yet gained a foothold, and 
so the ball was well worth seeing, for many of the popular 
dances are decidedly graceful and call for no little physical 

Vidunas mentions the custom observed among young 
girls of decking themselves daily in summer with a garland 
of rue, to which popular songs have lent a special signifi- 
cance as an emblem of purity. Thus when in song the 
loss of the rue garland is deplored, this intimates that 
innocence or virginity has been forfeited. 



SPEAKING of Lithuanian mythology, O. Schraeder, in 
his frork Reallexikon der indogermanischen Altertumskunde : 
Gruidziige einer Kultur-und Folkergeschichte Europas, 
remjarks : " From the point of view of religions ... it 
is a/bove all the names of the gods and the conception of 
the divinity amongst the Lithuanians which help to 
penjetrate the mysteries of the primitive Indo-European 

Lithuanian mythology is attached to the common trunk 
of >Indo-European mythologies. The Lithuanians were 
the last among civilized peoples to abandon Paganism 
whijch survived till the end of the XIYth century as their 
official religion. Salkauskis rejects the idea that tradition- 
alisn is sufficient to account for this, and favours instead 
the* supposition that Lithuanian Paganism derived its 
vitality from some degree of perfection as well as the 
powerful organization of a sacerdotal caste. 

Ejuring one phase of the national Romantic movement, 
German, Polish and Lithuanian investigators were wont 
to compare Lithuanian mythology with classic mythology 
and^ the sacerdotal caste with the organization of the 
Ronian priesthood. Later it was recognized that these 
appreciations were somewhat exaggerated, but it is to-day 
agreed that in Lithuania the ancient national religion 
was* more refined and better organized than amongst 
the Germans or the Slavs. The critical study of avail- 
abW data is not yet complete ; but methods of comparative 
philology, which have latterly been applied to this question 
with some success, throw an interesting light upon Lithu- 
anian mythological conceptions and Lithuanian religious 



The sacerdotal caste of ancient Lithuania was lot 
without resemblance to that of the Hindu Brahndns 
or Gallic Druids. Its influence was great, not only in 
religious, but also in the entire social life. One can gain 
an approximate idea of its organization by examiiing 
that of the primitive Borussians, a Lithuanian t ibe 
who were conquered and assimilated by the Prussans 
in the XVIIth century. 

They gave their priests the name of vaidilas or vaidit itis> 
which we come across in German documents in the f >rm 
of Waidelotte. These words contain the Indo-Eurojfean 
root void (among the Hindus veda) which signifies *~ to 
know/* The va^d^las enjoyed the prestige of science ; 
they were the Roman sapiens or German Wiste of 1;he 
Middle Ages. Vestal virgins, called vaidilutes, took 
an equal part in the sacred ceremonies. In Lithuania 
properly speaking they employed also instead of vaiMlas 
the word &ynys, of the same origin as the Sansprit 
Jdndti 9 the Latin noscere, and the Greek yiyv&aK<& (gignosko) 
and possessing the same signification. 

The ordinary priests were subordinated to a sovereign 
pontiff, kritis or krivaitis* Krivis comes from the^ Lithu- 
anian Isereti (German zauberri), and its etymological 
signification is that of the ancient Hindu kartar, in Gifeek 
opytos (orgios) 9 in Latin sacrificus. The dwelling* of 
the krivis was called Ruomuva (Romowe). The etymology 
of the word Rtumuva indicates that it was there that \the 
sacred fire burned, as the Indo-European root rem, whence 
it is derived, signifies in Latin cremare, ardere. jlhe 
inhabitants of the regions a little distant from Ruomuva 
were called Rikajotas, which translated literally m 
" the abode of the lords. 9 * 

The accidental resemblance of sounds between 
and Roma led the early investigators of the primitive 
Lithuanian religion to suppose that the two words $ 
the same origin ; this was evidently an error of in er- 
pretation. It appears, however, historically indisputable 
that Rutmuoa was the cult centre of the Borussia^as ; 
that the sacred fire was kept there ; that the 
sacrificer krivis or krivaitis resided there, and 


he exercised supreme power over all the sacerdotal 

There is every reason to believe that the religious organi- 
sation of Lithuania Proper was identical with that of 
Prussian Lithuania. 

As at Ruomuva fire worship was practised at Vilnius, 
the capital of Lithuania, and other places. There were 
sacred trees and woods, foremost of all the oak, <fruolas> 
for which great veneration was entertained. It was 
beneath its shadow that the perpetual fire burned and that 
the sacrifice of goats and other sacred ceremonies were 

Primitive religions owed their powers of organization 
to factors which were equally present in Lithuania. 
As in all the Orient, the priests here were the scholars, 
the sages ; they participated more or less largely m the 
exercise of social authority ; it was to them that judicial 
power and doubtless other functions belonged. There 
is every reason to believe that in Lithuania, as elsewhere, 
the social organization bore a theocratic impress and that 
the sacerdotal organization occupied a high rung of the 
social ladder. J^U~<^ 

Adam Mickiewicz, the celebrated fetiaytaiwau poet, 
wrote in this context : 

Among the Slavs all religion passed into private life, into domestic 
life, into the life of the village ; among the Lithuanians religion 
passed also into political life. Among the Slavs superior castes 
seem never to have existed. Those people were not able to form 
a political society ; they were a composition of partial associations. 
Among the Lithuanians, on the contrary, the castes of the priest- 
hood, warriors and people were founded together and formed a 
very compact social and political body imbued with a deeply 
developed religious life 

The word dievas, which in Lithuanian signifies God in 
general, bears the same relation to the physical heavens 
as the Sanscrit deva, Latin deus, Greek Zeus. In order 
to form their mythological conceptions the Lithuanians 
followed the same path as other Indo-European peoples. 
Struck by the grandeur of celestial phenomena they 
began to venerate them, then to personify them, and 


finally passed from the sensible image to the abstract 
idea of the Divinity. 

The King of the Lithuanian Olympus is Perkunas 
or God of Thunder. The word itself also means simply 
thunder and is still used in that sense to-day. In this 
the Lithuanian mythology offers a certain contrast to 
that of the Greeks and Romans, who placed in a higher 
degree of the Olympian hierarchy the god of lightning, 
Zeus or Jupiter, who became subsequently " father of 
the gods." The father of the lightning nevertheless 
exists in Lithuanian mythology ; he was called among 
the primitive Prussians zoaigdiki$, which name, like that 
of the Greek Phoebus, comes from the Indo-European 
ghvoigvos, which means lightning. 

Several peoples have venerated a divinity of the earth 
whom they gave as a spouse to the God of Heaven. This 
symbolical conception was not foreign to the Lithuanians. 
They knew a divinity called %emyn or Zeminele, a word 
derived from Zeme, " the earth." It is certainly curious 
to recall that the goddess SepeXi] (Semele), whose name 
has the same etymology, held a corresponding place in the 
Thraco-Grecian mythology. 

Moreover the terrestrial divinity among the Lithuanians 
bore also masculine names like Zemelukas, fiemininkas 
and 2emepatis 9 which indicates that the tendency to 
create gods in pairs did not generally exist among the 
Lithuanians, and still less that of imagining sexual 
relations between gods and men. This it is that sharply 
distinguishes classic from Lithuanian mythology which 
latter, however, is far from being indifferent to the sexual 
problem, albeit tending to solve it in the sense of Oriental 

The myths of the Sun and Moon from this point of 
view are instinctive. One can find survivals of them 
even to-day in popular songs. The moon (ntenuo and its 
diminutive menulis are of masculine gender) is the hus- 
band ; the Sun (saule and saulitte are feminine) the wife. 
In due course the fickle Moon paid court to the Morning 
Star (auSrine) which so angered Perkunas, the God of 
Thunder, that he seized his sword and clove the Moon's 


face in twain. Another version ascribes this drastic 
action to the Sun herself. We have here an expla- 
nation of the moon's phases and the diminution of its 
disc. It is also a deeper symbol, since in other songs 
the Moon represents the father, the Sun the mother of 
the new generations. The father gives to young people 
their share of the inheritance and the mother prepares 
the dot of the young daughters ; thus the relations of 
the Moon and Sun explain the question of conjugal fidelity 
which may not be violated with impunity. 

Like the Slav the Lithuanian loves Nature. The sky, 
the sun, the moon, the stars, the thunder and all atmos- 
pheric phenomena are for him objects of adoration. 
According to another very old conception, the entire 
heaven with its constellations was incarnated in the person 
of a single divinity, Karalune. Karalune, the Goddess 
of Light, is represented as a beautiful virgin whose head 
is adorned with a sun. She wears a mantle sprinkled 
with stars and closed at the shoulders with a moon. Her 
smile is the dawn. When it rains, while the sun shines, 
"Karalune weeps. But with the development of religious 
ideas the heavenly bodies form distinct images. The 
sun is a goddess who rides over the earth in a little coach 
drawn by three horses, one of silver, one of gold, and one 
of diamond. Slav traditions speak also of three horses 
of the sun. The palace of the sun was in the East, in 
that country whither the souls of the virtuous return 
after death to enjoy eternal felicity. It was a lofty 
mountain which the dead had to cKinb and which re- 
presented the vault of the sky in a figurative sense. The 
two f yrs, Ausrine and Yakarine (the star of morning and 
thejrar of evening) ignited the fires of the sim, carried 
water to the goddess for her bath and prepared her bed. 
There was also a god named Fejopatis or Lord of the 
Wind. This god appears in the Rig-Veda tinder tke 
name of Vayu, etymologically related to the Lithuanian 
Vejas, wind, and to the Greek Aiolos or Bale. There 
was among the Lithuanian an Audras f God of the Storm 
and Tempest (awbra means tempest) and a Bangputis, 
God of the Waves (banga means wave and pusti to blow). 


The Lithuanians recognized besides a large number of 
divinities subject to the foregoing who personified more 
or less clearly the manner of being, acting and thinking 
of the man himself. The number of these inferior 
divinities was considerable, and cannot be cited here. 
It is, however worthy of note that the gods who represent 
and protect the activity of man are subordinated to the 
gods of nature. Salkauskis suggests that these relations 
may attest the passive resignation of the primitive 
Lithuanians to the powers of the universe and of 
destiny. This resignation should not be confounded with 
an attitude of despair ; it was rather a sort of intimate 
abandonment which prompted MicMewicz to say : " The 
Slavs admire more external nature whereas the Lithuanians 
have a more intimate and more exquisite feeling for 
the life of nature." This kind of intimacy reveals the 
soul of nature to the Lithuanians. It is this soul which 
impregnates their mythology with so distinctive an anim- 
ism, which nowhere among primitive mythologies is so 
universal and sustained as among the Lithuanians, who 
closely attach religious symbolism to mythical personifica- 
tion. If, as they imagine it, nature is made up entirely 
of living and animate forces, each inert material object 
is but an envelope for a hidden life and even sometimes 
the sign of punishment. For example, the little flints 
which are present in sand are the breasts of Laume, a 
malicious spirit formerly punished by God for her amours 
with a handsome young man. The rainbow is merely 
the belt of this same Laume (Laumes juosta}. This 
tendency to allegory was so powerful that it is difficult, 
when studying the mythology of these people, to distinguish 
that which belongs to symbolism from that which relates 
to personification. In this respect it is interesting to 
dwell upon the fire cult which was held in great honour 
among the Lithuanians. The question of idols in general 
in the primitive religion of the Lithuanians is not yet 
fully explained ; certain authors affirm that idols made 
their appearance in Lithuania only at the epoch when 
that country had established its first relations with the 
neighbouring Christian peoples. 


The sacred fire was called Sventoji ugnis (in Sanscrit 
Spenta, holy, agni, fire ; in Latin, sanetus ignis). There 
were two kinds of fire one which was never allowed to go 
out, and the other which was lit at fixed times and upon 
certain occasions, for example, to consume propitiatory 
victims. In addition to its association with public worship 
the fire was the object of special veneration even in private 
life, in the home, shown above all towards what was 
called the " fire of the ashes " (peleno ugnis) which was 
compulsory in every household. The divinity of the 
hearth, the Estia of the Greeks and the Vesta of the 
Romans, was called Gabija; and it is not so long ago 
that a Samogitian woman, when preparing the embers 
for the night, would pronounce the formula, Sventa 
Gabija ! gyvenk su mumis linksma / " Le. * 4 St. Gabija, 
live with us in joy ! " 

For the Lithuanians fire was the best symbol of 
the divine and universal spirituality. Converted to 
Christianity, they have not lost this taste for symbolism, 
and the cross became with their baptism an object of 
similar veneration, which shows itself in the richness 
and variety of the ornamentation of Lithuanian crosses, 
of which a special architectural art could be made. In 
this worship the Lithuanians never separate flowers from 
the cross ; such a union of the symbol of joy with that of 
suffering is a Lithuanian characteristic. We find the same 
tendency even more strikingly revealed in popular poetry* 

The Lithuanians believed in good and evil spirits. 
One of the latter category named Gfltine is the cause of 
death, in which we should not see a natural and necessary 
phenomenon. Another, named Aitvaras, represented in 
the form of a flying serpent, bore riches to those whom 
it favoured, since everybody knows that wealth is not 
always the fruit of a laborious and economical life* The 
devil, known under various forms (velnias, ftipsas) was 
incessantly pursued by Perkunas who tried to overtake 
him in order to strike him with a thunderbolt. There 
were spirits everywhere under the earth (kaukas or 
nanis) 9 in the waters of the rivers and lakes (Undines 
or nymphs), etc. 


Naturally the Lithuanians did not neglect the cult of 
the dead. Says Mickiewicz : " The cult of the dead is 
common to the Lithuanians as to other peoples of 
antiquity ; but nowhere has it remained more deeply 
rooted and so pure as in this race." 

It has been more than once observed that the Lithuanians 
are particularly sensitive to telepathic phenomena. Per- 
haps, Salkauskis opines, this may be accounted for by 
their fidelity to ancestor worship. Their popular literature 
is rich in tales of the life led by souls after death (in 
Lithuanian veles). The curiosity of scholars has already 
explored this field of investigation; the International 
Congress of the History of Religions held at Leyde, in 
Holland, in 1902, heard a very detailed paper on this 
subject by M. R. van der Meulen. 

The Lithuanians have at all times observed a very 
elaborate ritual in their celebration of funerals. A special 
feature of popular poesy is the funeral chant known to 
this day as Baudot Professional " weepers " accompanied 
the cortege, and without doubt they took their office to 
heart, since there were also in use lachrymatory urns. 

Nor was the idea of metempsychosis alien to the 
Lithuanians. On this subject Mickiewicz says : 

The soul, according to the ancient religion of the Lithuanians, 
after death of the indrvidxial, can take different forms, either of 
animals or plants and sometimes of men, according to the moral 
quality. The soul of the best developed passes into heaven by 
the Milky Way, and the seat of these privileged souls is located 
amongst the stars north of the Milky Way. When a man is born 
a new star always appears on the horizon. The stars of children 
or of men who will not live long are very small and last a few years 
only in the sky. The stars of men who die a violent death are 
the shooting stars, whilst the fixed stars are attached to the destinies 
of gods and heroes, 

The same author observes : 

This race could only adhere to a religion which excludes none 
of the great problems which occupy mankind. 

Lege&cts of giants are as common as they are to all 
Indo-European peoples. These gigantic forms, which 
many scholars have declared are the arbitrary creation 


of the popular imagination, will not seem at all surprising 
when we realize that according to their original signification 
they give meaning to the irresistible strength of physical 
nature. In the Lithuanian legend of Water and Wind 
these are giants who devastate the earth. In the Mohilev 
government people tell how the giants* heads reach the 
clouds, how the giants seize the summit of the mountains 
in their hands and toss them like grains of sand to another 
spot, while they move with the swiftness of the wind. 
The tradition of two children of the race of giants is also 
preserved here. When one of them blows, the wind roars 
round the peasants* huts ; when the other spits, he makes 
a bottomless lake. When a violent tempest tears up 
century-old oaks, and the horizon is illumined with light- 
ning, the peasants say that the giants are at play. In 
the epic poetry of the Greeks and Scandinavians, the Finns 
and other nations, giants have always had the same super- 
natural character. Later, they fell to the rank of heroes, 
but nevertheless retain many traits of their old mythological 
character. The peasant believes that there actually was 
an epoch when giants of incredible strength and amazing 
size fought on the earth. " To-day,** say the peasants, 
** the earth is not as it was formerly ; a curse hangs over 
it. To-day the trees do not grow so high and the stones 
are almost without life. But formerly rye grew as high 
as the vine. In olden times men were of greater stature, 
the trees extremely strong, and they bore such fruit as 
one can hardly describe. But afterwards all people 
became smaller and weaker from year to year, and we 
shall yet come to such a pass that men will be trans- 
formed into dwarfs and will require half a dozen to lift 
a single straw." 

Popular superstitions and beliefs are innumerable and 
cannot be dealt with at all exhaustively here. Again 
natural phenomena play an important r61e. To succeed, 
any enterprise should be implemented at the time of a 
new or full moon. If a peasant on the way to his field 
or the town meets a woman carrying an empty cask, 
the omen is a bad one. Equally so if an animal runs 
across the road before the wayfarer. If a peasant suddenly 


thinks of a wolf on the road, it is a sign that danger 
threatens the domestic herd. The language of grain is 
interpreted by soothsayers. Great importance is ascribed 
to dreams which are also interpreted by specialists. The 
belief prevails that dreams go by contraries. Thus if 
you dream you are going to become rich, you may be 
sure you are destined to become poor ; or if you dream 
you are very well, that you will soon fall sick. 

Generally it may be said that Greek, Hindu, and Persian 
influences can be traced in Lithuanian mythology, and 
anything like adequate treatment of the subject would 
require a special volume. 

In olden times a temple dedicated to the god Perkunas 
stood near the royal palace at Vilnius, but this gave 
way to a Catholic church when Lithuania became 


THE Lithuanian language is not, as is often supposed* 
a Slavonic idiom, but, together with Lettish and Old 
Prussian, constitutes the Aestian or Baltic linguistic 
branch which is parallel to the Slavonic and German 
groups. Belief in the existence of a primitive Balto- 
Slavonic idiom is due simply to the neighbourhood of 
the two races and the presence in Lithuania of a large 
number of words borrowed from Russian and Polish and 
vice-versa. The philologist Brugman, in his Precis of 
Comparative Grammar, enumerates seven distinctive 
characteristics of the Baltic or Aestian idiom, which give 
it an independent place in the Indo-European linguistic 

Among Baltic languages Old Prussian is already extinct, 
the Borussians having been for the most part Germanized 
by the XVHth century. Lithuanian has many points 
of contact with Lettish, wMch is spoken to-day in Kurland 
and Livonia. It may be safely affirmed that the two idioms 
originally formed one language of the Aestian or Baltic 
linguistic branch* 

Lithuanian comprises two main dialects High and 
Low Lithuanian, The former is spoken in the eastern 
part of the country (Vilnius and Kaunas governments). 
It embraces four-fifths of the Lithuanian linguistic territory. 
The second is the idiom of the west and north (govern- 
ments of Kaunas and Prussian Lithuania), and embraces 
only about a fifth of the Lithuanian-speaking people. 
The essential phonetic differences of the two dialects are 
the following : The uo and ie of High Lithuanian are u 
and i in Low Lithuanian. Thus High Lithuanian duona 



(bread) becomes duna in Low Lithuanian, and High 
Lithuanian pienas (milk) becomes pinas in Low Lithuanian. 
The sounds tj and dj of Low Lithuanian becomes c and dz 
in High Lithuanian. The zones of the two dialects are 
separated by a straight line which from the Kurland 
frontier passes through the towns of Vezenai and Krupiai ; 
thence almost forty-eight kilometres in a north-westerly 
direction through Siauliai, the postal station of Bubiai, 
thirteen kilometres from Siauliai, Raseiniai, and thence 
towards the south-west through Taurage, across the 
Prussian frontier, and thence following the course of the 
Nemunas arrives at the Kurisches Haff. East and south 
of this line High Lithuanian is spoken ; west and south of 
it Low. These two principal dialects are subdivided into 
other minor dialects. Low Lithuanian has dialects of 
the south-west, north-west and east. High Lithuanian 
has dialects of the west and east. 

From many standpoints, especially the phonetic, 
Lithuanian appears to be the most archaic of all liv- 
ing Indo-European languages. Lithuanian words bearing 
resemblance to corresponding Latin and Greek words 
are numerous. The following is but a partial list : 

Latin* Lithuanian. 

Vir (man) Vyras 

Deus (God) Dievas 

Ignis (fire) Ugnis 

Vinum (wine) Vynas 

Dies (day) Diena 

Sol (sun) Saule 

Jocus (joke) Juokas 

Senis (old) Senas 

Dare (to give) Duoti 

Duo (two) Du 

Trahite (pull !) Traukite 

Tres (three) Trys 

Jungus (yoke) Jungas 

Nor are these special cases laboriously sought for, 
to prove the similarity of the two languages ; on the 
contrary, they could readily be increased* The resemblance 


between Lithuanian and Greek is also very striking. 
Both have a dual number ; they are further alike in their 
use of the instrumental, vocative and locative cases. 
The following Greek and Lithuanian words suggest a 
common origin : 

Greek. Lithuanian^ 

Meter (mother) Motina 

Vespatis (despot) Viespatis 

Later borrowings from German, Russian and Polish 
have less philological interest ; nor do they affect the 
essence of the language which remains Lithuanian. The 
national existence of Lithuania is bound up with her 
language,; for a Lithuanian State in which a foreign 
tongue was spoken would be an impossible anomaly. 

Very characteristic of Lithuanian is the use of the 
nominative with the infinitive, the dative with the infinitive, 
the dative absolute, and particularly the quite special 
use of variable and invariable participles. The participle 
is almost always used in a subordinate clause follow- 
ing the conjunction. For example, the phrase, "He 
says that he sees/ 9 in Lithuanian would be rendered, 
Sake, kad jis matys, i.e. " He says that he (is) seeing." 
This construction runs through all the tenses with different 
forms of the participle. Another peculiarity of the 
^anguage is the use of the verb ** to be " as the auxiliary 
for both active and passive constructions. Thus in 
Lithuanian we say for " I have turned," Esu suk$s, 
meaning literally, " I am having turned." I can say 
from personal experience that this peculiarity is at first 
more than a little puzzling. The difference, however, 
is shown by the participle itself which has distinct forms 
for both moods. As in Russian the Lithuanian participle 
proper (not the gerund) is declined as an adjective with 
seven cases viz. nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, 
vocative, instrumental and locative. 

Like Sanscrit and Greek, the Lithuanian verb has a 
reflexive or medium voice which is constantly employed. 
It is formed very simply by adding an $ to the ending of 
the active voice or, if the verb is a compound one, the 


syllable si is inserted between the verbal stem and prefix. 
Thus $uku> " I turn/' becomes sukuos, " I turn myself." 
Sukalbame, "we agree or speak together/* becomes 
susikalbame, "we understand each other/' etc. 

The use of $ and si for the reflexive voice suggests the 
Russian sya> but in Russian this syllable, a contraction 
of $ebya> meaning " self," is used only as an ending, and 
cannot be inserted between a verbal prefix and stem, 
as in Lithuanian. 

As in Russian, there is a feminine form for family names. 
But Lithuanian goes even farther in this respect and 
provides special forms of the family name for various 
members of the family. Thus the wife of Mr. Svelnas 
is Svelniene ; the girl daughter is Svelnyte ; the grown 
daughter Svelnike ; the boy son Svelnytis ; the grown 
son Svelnukas, etc. 

Sentences are usually laconic, as in antique languages. 
For example, the genitive attributive is freely placed 
between the adjective and the substantive Antrasis 
ydty Bendruomeniy, Suva$iavima$ (literally, Second of the 
Communes of the Jews Congress). The auxiliary is often 
omitted. After all declarative verbs the subjunctive is 
invariably used. Prepositions are comparatively seldom 
employed. The subordination of the subsidiary to the 
principal clause is stricter than in German or English. 
Co-ordination is rather determined by the sense of the 
phrase than by conjunctions. 

In its rhythm Lithuanian is probably unique in our day. 
It submits itself to the tension of parallel rhythms which, 
as it were, oppose each other. The fundamental rhythm 
is that of the mutation of syllables or sounds, short and 
long, to which must be added the change between the 
acute and grave sound. The acute tone is often given to 
the short vowel, i.e. in some isolated words, sunus, son ; 
upe, river ; but in the greater number of cases of declined 
words, the tone changes from one syllable to another, 
though always between the same two. Nevertheless the 
tonic accent has merely secondary importance. In fact, 
in good Lithuanian, the tone should never be too strongly 
accentuated. A very marked accent would threaten the 


existence of the case endings. This tendency, indeed, 
is already noticeable in Low Lithuanian, where the stress 
is often fixed on the first syllable. 

The Lithuanian language is rich in vowel sounds, above 
all in a ; among diphthongs the sound uo is notable. 
Lithuanian proper lacks the /and h, which are used nowa- 
days only in words of foreign origin. The Lithuanian for 
France, for example, is " Prancuzija." 

It may well be doubted whether any other known 
language possesses so many diminutives and caressive 
forms as Lithuanian. Certainly in this respect it surpasses 
Russian, Italian, or Spanish. One example will suffice. 
Brolis is the simple form for brother ; but the following 
variations are all in use : Brolelis, brolaitis, broluis, 
broliukas* brolulis, brolutis, brolytis, brolaitelis, broleliukas, 
brolutelis, broluzelis, brolu&aitis, brolytukas, broliukelis, 
brolytu%i$, etc. 

R. Bytautas, in his Philosophy of the Lithuanian 
Language, writes : " Lithuanian possesses an incalculable 
richness of expression, as it has in abundance all the 
essentials for an extension of its vocabulary. With the 
aid of various prefixes and terminations, while slightly 
modifying the radical of the words, it forms with remark- 
able facility a multitude of new expressions which can be 
derived from every part of speech." In this regard 
Lithuanian recalls the Greek ; there is the same natural 
richness, the same suppleness, the same adaptation to the 
most varied nuances of thought; but its brevity and 
construction are more akin to Latin. 

To illustrate the foregoing contention Salkauskis gives 
the following example. The idea of " to eat " receives a 
different expression according to the subject of the action* 
For a man one says valgyti ; for animals in general esti ; 
but if one speaks of certain species one must again use 
a special word. Thus for a dog or cat lakti is used ; for 
domestic fowl lesti. Further, to feed a man the verb 
vcdgydinti is correct ; but to feed a child is peneti; a horse, 
cow or other horned animal, Serti; a pig liuobti, a cat or 
dog lakinti; domestic fowl UswtL A man's food is called 
valgis, a child's penas, a horse's, etc., paiaras, a pig's 



jovtdas, a dog's or cat's lakalas, and domestic fowl's lesalas. 
In this manner the Lithuanian distinguishes between a 
collection of similar phenomena, giving to each one a 
special designation, thanks to the richness of derivative 
forms, and this not only in the domain of concrete ideas, 
but also in that of abstractions. The idea is expressed 
by different terms according to the object, the quality, 
the quantity, the position, the relation, etc., under which 
it is envisaged. 

From the verb stikyti, " to say," are derived : Sakytojas 
and sakytoja, the person who says, male and female ; 
sdkymas, the action itself, the " saying " ; sdkinys, the 
object of the action, that which is said, the " proposition " ; 
pa-sak&) the result, the story ; sakykla, indicating the 
place from which one speaks, the chair or tribune, etc. 

Judging from the remarkable progress made by the 
literary language during only about thirty-five years of 
the renascence movement, in spite of the persecution to 
which it was formerly subjected by Russia, it is not 
unreasonable to expect that a few decades from now, 
if its evolution proceeds at the same rate, it will take a 
very high place among civilized tongues by virtue of its 
antiquity, its richness and purity, and its philosophical value. 
Before becoming an object of study by the Lithuanian 
intellectuals themselves, the popular poetry of the country 
since the second half of the XVHIth century had begun 
to attract the attention of eminent German writers. 
Philippe Ruhig inaugurated the movement by reproduc- 
ing in his essay on the language, entitled " Betrachtungen 
der Litauischen Sprache " (Konigsberg, 1745), three Lithu- 
anian popular songs with favourable comment. This work 
evoked in Germany powerful interest in Lithuanian popu- 
lar poetry. The moment, too, was opportune, because 
a reaction against pseudo-classicism had just set in 
headed by Lessing and Herder, who were the first to 
appreciate the distinction of Lithuanian poetry which, 
in many respects, satisfied the aesthetic exigencies of 
the time. 

In his Lifteratnrbriefe of 1759, Lessing thus expressed 
Ms enthusiasm for the Lithuanian songs, or dainos : 


You should learn also that poets are bora in all latitudes and 
that the vivacity of impressions is not the privilege of civilized 
populations. In turning over the pages of Ruhig's Lithuanian 
dictionary recently, I found after preliminary considerations on the 
language some precious rarities which gave me extreme satis- 
faction ; they were the dainos, i.e. chansonettes, such as are sung 
by the young girls of the people. What naive pleasantries I What 
charming simplicity ! The frequent use of diminutives, the great 
number of vowels mingled with the I, r and t give extraordinary 
grace to the language of these songs. 

After Lessing, Herder supported the vogue of Lithuanian 
poesy. In his " Stimmen der Vcelker in Lieder," he re- 
produced a tasteful translation of eight Lithuanian songs* 
One of these so pleased Goethe, that he introduced it in 
his Singspiel, under the title of " Die Fiseherm." 

The publicity thus given to Lithuanian popular poetry 
by Germany evoked also among Polish writers a certain 
amount of interest in Lithuanian culture and history. 
As elsewhere, Polish Romanticism in its reaction against 
pseudo-classicism was seeking for less remote themes in 
the history of the Middle Ages, and was, therefore, not 
loth to find inspiration in the national culture of Lithuania. 
But whereas German authors were attracted by the ethnic 
side of popular poesy, Polish-Lithuanian mentality turned 
more to mythology. In the doings of personages like 
Gediminas, Algirdas, Keistutis, Vytautas, etc., or the battles 
of the XIYth century against the Russians, Poland, and 
the Order of Cross-Bearers, Polish writers discovered 
an inexhaustible storehouse of literary material. In this 
regard the intellectual classes of the country, who derived 
their spiritual pabulum from Vilnius, differed from the 
masses of the people, who were comparatively indifferent 
to these concrete historical themes, their mental activity 
manifesting itself rather in tales and fables drawn from the 
lives of animals or based upon moral conceptions. Such 
a rupture with the past had been deliberately fostered by 
the Cross-Bearers in East Prussia, where the official use of 
the Lithuanian language had been forbidden, and whence, 
together with the Bohemians and Jews, the Lithuanian 
bards, called vaidilas, the sole popular repositories of his- 
torical traditions, had been expelled. Even in Lithuania* 


when Christianity had penetrated the country, and the 
use of the Polish language had spread, the ancient priests 
and the national tongue were included in the same oblivion. 
The people, fallen into servitude and attached to the soil, 
forgot the glorious lays of olden times or recalled them 
but fitfully in the privacy of the home. The upper classes, 
indifferent to their national duty, gradually lost contact 
with the people and thenceforth were incapable of furnishing 
popular poesy with the elements of an epic. In these 
circumstances the population fed on cosmic images A 
surprising predilection was shown for animal personification, 
the lion being quite a favourite. More interesting, however, 
are the proverbs, adages, riddles, and conundrums attached 
to moral tales. This class of literary output is especially 
suited to the genius of the language, with its conciseness 
and distinctive rhythm. The result is seen in a wide 
range of little masterpieces which well repay study* 

Nevertheless, the gems of popular literature are un- 
questionably the dainos or songs, already mentioned. 
We have already seen (vide Chapter XIII) how largely 
song bulks in the life of almost every Lithuanian ; 
analogously he distinguishes in his songs almost as many 
forms, shades and varieties as there are in life itself. 
Juska's dictionary gives more than thirty expressions for 
what in English we should be content to render through 
the single verb " to sing ** ; and he gives fifteen names for 
different songs. Salkauskis, however, classifies Lithuanian 
songs into three main divisions, viz., religious hymns or 
giesmes ; funeral dirges or songs of farewell, raudos ; and 
general songs, dainos; whence the corresponding verbs 
giedoti, raudoti, daimioti. The Lithuanian uses the words 
giesm& and giedoti to designate the song of the birds as 
though he wished to emphasize its religious character. 

Salkauskis says of the dainos : 

They certainly constitute the richest efflorescence of Lithuanian 
lyricism ; remarkable above all are those which owe their inspira- 
tion to family life. The family was always the most solid basis 
of Lithuanian national existence, the vitality of which is due in 
great measure to the purity of morals which is maintained at the 
domestic hearth ; one can realize this in those dainos in which 
the family finds the feithftil expression of its joys and of its daily 


vicissitudes, and in which the problem of love is set and then solved 
with a breadth and depth of view which does not fail to astonish. 
They are so characteristic, both from the moral and artistic stand- 
points, that it behoves us to dwell upon them for a short time. 

The question of love and purity is presented under an 
allegorical form which must date back to a remote antiquity. 
The symbolism of the dainos is apparently attributable 
to the same stock as the mythological songs. Vidunas 
remarks in this context : 

The interest of the Lithuanian songs and stories rests not only 
in the profound and tender sentiments which they express ; one 
recovers therein the last rays of a sun which has long since set, 
and the trace of ancient events of the history of these people. 

The dainos give to the young girl the epithet of " beautiful 
white lily" (balta grai lelijele is in Lithuanian of the 
feminine gender) ; the young man is described as 
" beautiful white clover " (the Lithuanian baltas grazus 
ddbilelis is masculine). This is a guarantee of happiness* 

Adolescent the young girl devotes her time to the culture 
of a garden ; but in the midst of flowers which there abound, 
the green rue (zalia rutd) occupies the place of choice. 
Its freshness, its bright colour symbolize virginity. It 
is upon this plant that the young girl bestows her 
greatest care, and it is from this that the garden 
takes its name (ruty dar%elis). Often by the side of 
the rue grows the " shrub of God " (diemedelis), which 
has the same meaning for the young man. While under 
the eye of her mother the young girl tends her garden, 
the young man takes care of his brown bay horse 
(beras irgelis) 9 the image of a virile temperament. 
The young girl appears in the world crowned with rue 
(zalii ruttf vainikelis). A ring of gold and silk ribbons 
complete her toilette, but the crown of green rue, 
symbolizing her purity,, is her most beautiful ornament. 
** As in the dark night a little star sparkles in the heavens, 
so shines the young girl under her green aureola/' 

Kaip tamsioj naktelej 
Danguj 2iba zvaigMele, 
Taip meigele zibejo 
Kol vainika turejo. 


But, "whatever the subject-matter of the dainos, one is 
ever struck by the absence of grossness. In this connexion 
a Lithuanian commentator has observed : 

Lithuanian folklore is remarkable for its absolute purity ; all 
allusion to sexuality, even to sensuality, is rigorously banned. 
What freshness and what innocence after the grossness, the violence 
and, sometimes, the unbridled bestiality of the Slav folklore ! 
The Lithuanian song does but confirm that which legend and 
tradition teach us of the purity of morals of ancient Lietuva, 
happily conserved in modern Lithuania, despite the solvent influ- 
ence of the dynastic union with Poland and of its result, the 
degrading Muscovite domination. It is impossible, when ques- 
tioning the soul of ancient Lithuania, not to associate with the 
cult of the Sun and Fire the adoration of Virginity. . . . When 
social and economic order has been re-established in our hier- 
archical republic, recently resuscitated, we shall invite the artists, 
the poets, the thinkers all the bruised heroes of our stupid 
and ugly epoch, all the intellectual pariahs of the plutocratic and 
materialistic Occident, to come and enjoy a long rest of body and 
spirit on the hills where our ancestors fed the pure Fire and which 
bear even to-day names of the spiritual world : Rambynas, 
Alexota. There, in the immense solitude of the Nemunas, they 
will refresh their heart and their spirit with the inspiration of 
Druidical times, effacing from their memory the hideous recollection 
of modern concepts of love. 

The most ancient historic chant extant is one dating 
from 1282, which celebrates the glory of Prince Daumantas 
of Pskov* A later chant describes the sad end of 300 
heroes, who in 1362 defended the fortress of Kaunas against 
the attacks of Winrich of Kniprode, and preferred to 
perish in the flames rather than fall into the hands of their 

Belles lettres proper date from the XVIIth century in 
Prussian Lithuania. The earliest known author is Christian 
Duonelaitis, who wrote six fables and five idylls, famous 
for their style and vigour. Perhaps the best known 
name abroad is that of Adam Mickiewicz (1798-1845), 
professor of the academy of Lausanne, where the hall 
in which he lectured still bears his name. In 1840 he 
became professor in the College de France. It is true that 
Mickiewicz wrote in Polish, but the inspiration and subject 
of Jii$ yers are Almost exclusively Lithuanian, 


Among his masterpieces are, Sonnets of the Crimea, Konrad 
Wattenrod, Sir Thadeus or Lithuania, Grazyna, Dziady and 
others. It is conceded by experts that Mickiewicz ranks 
among the greatest poets of the XlXth century. Among 
his contemporaries were Ignatius Chodzko, Poska, 
Daukantas and Valancius. 

The result of the tyrannical Tsarist prohibition of 
Lithuanian books from 1864 to 1904 was to drive Lithuanian 
literary effort abroad, chiefly to Prussia and America. 
In Prussian Lithuania Tilsit was the principal centre of 
Lithuania's intellectual life. Here were printed books 
reviews, journals, etc., which were smuggled over the 
border into Lithuania Major. In these circumstances 
the language found the most favourable conditions for 
development in Lithuania Minor, where writers like 
Kursaitis, Jacobi, Vidunas, Sauerwein and others 
flourished. The last-named was a German, but he possessed 
such a mastery of the Lithuanian language, that nobody 
could suppose from internal evidence of his Lithuanian 
writings that he was other than a Lithuanian. W. St. 
Vidunas, born in the district of Heydekrug, East Prussia, 
in 1868, is still very much alive and justly regarded as one 
of the most distinguished of all Lithuanian scholars, 
poets and philosophers. In his youth he wrote in German, 
but later devoted himself solely to Lithuanian. He is 
famous as a dramatist. Among his works the trilogy 
entitled The Eternal Fire has had great success. In his 
play, In the Shadow of the Ancestors, he shows himself 
fully conscious of his Lithuanian nationality. He is the 
author of numerous tragedies, comedies, mysteries and 
legends. From 1911 to 1914 he engaged in editing a 
monthly review entitled Youth, and in 1916 he published 
his book Lithuania in the Past and Present. Vidunas is 
further celebrated as a choir leader and as a public speaker. 
He is also the author of a Lithuanian grammar in German. 

In Lithuania Major, notwithstanding the Russian 
persecution, a certain number of poets continued to 
cultivate the Muse in secret. The name of Maironis, 
really the pseudonym of Jean Maculevicius, is famous 
n this connexion. Mention should be made of the valuable 


contribution to Lithuanian literature of the Jesuits who 
entered the country in 1569. In 1608 they were detached 
from the Polish province and formed an independent 
Lithuanian province, where they established the colleges 
of Kraziai and Niesviz and in Prussian Lithuania the 
academy of Braunsberg and the college of Poessel. In 
these various institutions the Jesuits promoted theatrical 
representations by their pupils. The plays were actually 
performed in Latin, but for the benefit of the auditors, 
few of whom were familiar with that tongue, scenarios 
were printed in Lithuanian. These performances attracted 
thousands of spectators of all classes and covered a vast 
range of subjects, both sacred and secular. 

Immediately before the war tremendous literary activity 
was displayed throughout Lithuania. Among lyrical 
poets should be mentioned Putinas, Gira, Gustaitis, 
Vaitkus ; among epic poets Puida, Seinius, Kreve ; among 
dramatists, besides Vidunas, Vargsas, Keturakis, and 
others. The authoresses Ragana, Bite, Kymont-Ciurlionis 
and Lazdyny Peleda have written admirable novels. 
Prominent among modern Lithuanian historians are 
Daukantas, Mathieu Valancius and Maironis, 


I DO not propose to trace Lithuanian art and music back 
to pre-historic times, relics of which bear a general family 
resemblance to similar survivals discovered in the Scan- 
dinavian Peninsula. Instead, I shall try to interest the 
reader in comparatively contemporaneous exponents of 
these branches of national culture. And without further 
preliminary, I wish to introduce him to perhaps one of 
the few known men of our own day who have achieved a 
great reputation both as artists and musicians. Yet such 
was Mykolas Ciurlionis, who died prematurely in 1914 
at the age of thirty-nine, in the full flush of his creative 
genius. Comparatively unknown, I fear, in this country, 
Ciurlionis before his untimely demise had already achieved 
an otherwise European reputation, more especially in 
Russia, where he was acclaimed a genius of the very first 

He was born in 1875 at Druskinikai, Vilnius government. 
When five years old he already displayed musical talent, 
and at nine entered the musical school of Prince Michael 
Oginski where he remained till 1888* It was then that he 
made his first attempts at composition, which attracted 
Prince Oginski's attention and patronage, thanks to which 
he was able to enter the Warsaw Conservatoire, At the 
close of his studies he made a considerable reputation as a 
composer of distinction, but his true vocation lay elsewhere, 
and in 1902, still at Warsaw, he was initiated into the 
principles of painting and speedily became an independent 
artist. Soon he quitted Warsaw for Vilnius, where he took 
an active part in the Lithuanian renascence movement. 
His sojourn at Vilnius was for Ciurlionis the most fruitful 



period of his short life, and it was there that he painted his 
most remarkable canvases. The two last years of his 
life he spent at Petersburg, where death came suddenly, 
doubtless as the result of overwork. He bequeathed to 
posterity some four hundred pictures and studies produced 
for the most part during the last five years of his career. 

It is primarily in Russia that the art of Cmrlionis has 
evoked the liveliest general interest, and the best mono- 
graphs on his work are from Russian pens. One of these 
that of Chudovsky says in part : 

To-day that he is dead, the authors of the spiritual renascence 
of Lithuania present tairlionis as a national artist. It is not for 
us to judge of that ; nevertheless his extraordinary independence 
of all contemporary art leads one to suppose that he actually was 
inspired hy the secret forces of his people. It is well to believe 
that this strange genius was not a fortuitous caprice of Fate, but 
the precursor of a future sublime Lithuanian art. . . . When I 
think of him, of the Lithuanian, a single idea impresses itself upon 
niy mind ; these people have not had their Middle Age ; perhaps 
they have conserved till the twentieth century, much more than 
we other Russians, the giant energies of the mystic life received 
from the Aryans and which our brothers of the West lavished on 
the Middle Ages in such grandiose abundance. And then Ciurlioms 
acquires a strange meaning and a strange grandeur. 

The same critic recognizes the acuteness of vision 
peculiar to Ciurlionis : " His pictures bear testimony to 
the faculty which he had, like primitive man, of perceiving 
at the bottom of living phenomena the very essence of 
life/' because ** he had a conception of the world as rich 
as' himself," which may explain why, although educated 
in the atmosphere of Occidental culture, he always felt 
drawn to the mystical visions of the ancient Orient. 

Another Russian critic, Leman, observes : 

The marvellous harmony of the celestial mechanism which 
reveals all the real infinity of the universe ; the pitiless logic of 
natural selection, the theory of Laplace with his tourbillions of 
fire which are reflected, so to speak, in the atoms of Descartes, 
these it was that beguiled his soul for ever by the imposing verity 
of a rigorous concatenation. The cult of the sun, that flaming 
centre which carries us into the unfathomable spaces of creation ; 
the magnificent idea of a single principle, link and soul of the 
system which is subject to it, conduct Ciurlionis to the study of 


anrient Persia and of Egypt, and sweep him still farther to the 
sources of thought and to the six religious and philosophical 
systems of India. 

All this partly explains why, as Chudovsky puts it, 
" the work of Ciurlionis is a visual revelation of the world 
of beauty, and of harmony, of the eternal and illimitable 

Speaking of the method adopted by Ciurlionis in order to 
express his aesthetic feelings, Salkauskis says : 

A traveller is crossing the arid spaces of a desert. Suddenly 
his gaze discloses in the distance a peaceful vision ; the sensation 
is real and corresponds also to a reality. But the traveller has 
need of all his experience to recognize that this reality which 
appears before him exists, but is situated at some other spot than 
where he seems to see it. The mirage interposes itself between 
a real object and the perception, real also, which the traveller has 
of it. It serves as intermediary ; it can also serve as symbol. 
The penetrating eye of Ciurlionis, without calling in question the 
reality of the sensations which it receives, sees in the phenomenal 
world a mirage across which it endeavours to seize the true reality 
of things. That which it has thus succeeded in discovering he 
depicts in his pictures. 

This symbolic sense of the work of Ciurlionis has been magis- 
terially explained by Viatcheslav Ivanov, to whom we owe ^the 
best study of our artist, entitled, faurlionis and the Problem of 
the Synthesis of the Arts. "'The inspired art of Ciurhonis," he 
writes, " borders upon divination. This seer is above all interest- 
ing and persuasive when he undertakes a task foreign in itself 
to painting, when he abandons himself without reserve to his gift 
of second sight. Then the objects of our sensible world generalize 
their forms and become diaphanous. Matter seems to pass to 
a second plane of creation and permits us to perceive only the 
rhythmic and geometric principle of its being. Space itself seems 
invaded by the transparency of forms which do not exclude neigh- 
bouring forms but permit themselves, so to speak, to be penetrated 
by them. This geometrical transparence appears to be an attempt 
to expose tp the view the spectacles of a contemplation in which 
our three dimensions of space no longer suffice." The artist seems 
therefore to have found a fourth in time. "How, by what laws 
can the vision of this remote and sublime material arise from the 
pitiful material that surrounds us ? " demands the same critic. 
** To answer this question is to describe the method: of Ciurhonis, 
the novelty of which justly determines the extreme originality 
of the artist. In our opinion his method is the pictorial elaboration 


of the elements of his vision according to a principle drawn from 
music. ... In a certain sense this work is an attempt at synthesis 
of painting and music ; an attempt undoubtedly unpremeditated, 
naive, yet none the less executed with a semi-conscious application 
which is always the attribute of genius. These two sisters are 
opposed one to the other ; painting knows only space ; music 
admits only time. Their synthesis is conceivable in reason as 
a harmony of the spheres* as the parallel march of two worlds 
whereof one chants in colours and the other sparkles with tones, 
feut in art it is unrealizable. Ciurlionis has not attempted to 
realize it ; but he has been able at least to describe it ; he had to 
consider time and space as a homogeneous whole. But yet again, 
in art he was born to indicate this conception. He has given us 
the sensation of being in a space which contains simultaneously 
time and movement, a space which is the basis of a chatoyant 
play of colours. . . . And the musical method for our artist has 
been the sesame which has opened for him the inviolate sanctuaries 
of the universal mystery. He has seen the music of phenomena 
and has made use of it to lift the veil of Isis. He has tried to 
penetrate the secret of forms issued from the divine seed of the 
primitive forms of realities ; his pictures are attempts to explain 
the world." 

Such is the judgment passed upon Ciurlionis by one of 
the ablest men of contemporary Russia. 

One of the ideas which Ciurlionis loves to express with a 
visible predeliction is that of the living unity of the world, 
as also of its march to perfection. Hence his taste for 
cycles of pictures which he terms sonatas. V. Chudovsky, 
who sees in the sonata a tendency " to show the aesthetic 
theme by way of improvement in successive moments of 
its movement towards final beauty/ 5 considers that the 
cycle which Ciurlionis entitled " La Mer," and which he 
divides according to the dialectic Triad, into thesis, anti- 
thesis, and synthesis, is that which corresponds the best 
to the ideal essence of the sonata. 

Says Salkauskis : 

The delicious vertigo of infinite spaces, the swell of the ocean of 
life, the seductive face of evil, the union of earth and heaven in the 
signs of the constellations, the birth of the world after the fiat Iux 9 
the profound truth of fantasy and of myth, the eloquent silence 
of the desert, the apocalyptic sense of urban agglomerations, the 
nostalgia of the terrestrial Paradise such are some of the subjects 
which have inspired Ciurlionis, 


Some titles of the pictures of Ciurlionis, chosen almost 
at random, are suggestive of his penchant, viz., "Rex/* 
"The Recital, 55 "The Sonata of Beethoven/' "Fantasy/ 5 
"Paradise," "The Paladin/' "Spring," "Sign of the 
Zodiac," " The Virgin/' "Andante of the Sonata La Mer/' 
" Conte fantastique/' etc. In living artists like Sileika, 
Kalpokas and Varnas, Ciurlionis has found disciples and 
imitators who not unworthily maintain the tradition of his 
unique art* 

Antanas 2muidzinavicius is by many considered the 
most remarkable painter of the Lithuanian Renascence. 
He pursued most of his studies in Western Europe, and 
from 1904 to 1907 attended the School of Fine Arts in 
Paris* On returning to Lithuania he there founded the 
Society of Fine Arts, to which have belonged most of the 
leading Lithuanian artists including Ciurlionis himself, 
Petras Rimsa, Slapelis, Kalpokas, Sileika, Ulianskis, 
Varnas, Zikaras, etc. 2muidzinavicms also did much to 
organize expositions. The first, which contained the works 
of one hundred and fourteen artists, had immense success, 
and had to be removed from Kaunas to Riga in deference 
to an insistent demand. Among his paintings " The Tomb 
of the Heroes" and " The Vision" merit special mention. 
The first depicts an old man seated on the tomb of dead 
warriors and narrating to a child the glorious past of Lithu- 
ania. " The Vision " represents the Vytis, the Lithuanian 
Knight on his charger, brandishing his naked sword ; in 
the background of the picture dawn is beginning to touch 
the horizon with crimson. This work, which was exhibited 
at Vilnius in 1912, provoked tremendous enthusiasm. 
Zmuidzinavicius is the author of numerous landscape 
paintings very finely executed. 

Among sculptors Rimsa and Zikaras are conceded the 
first place* I have already referred to Rimsa as the author 
of the group entitled " The Lithuanian School," which re- 
presents a Lithuanian woman seated at her spinning wheel 
and teaching her child its mother tongue. This scene is 
the symbol of the Lithuanian school oppressed under the 
Russian yoke* of the epoch when only in the privacy of 
the family dared one speak the national idiom. Another 


work by the same artist shows the Lithuanian Knight 
fighting against the Polish eagle ; this work was one of 
the most admired at the Vilnius exhibition of 1914, and 
it clearly characterizes the national tendencies. 

Zikaras is one of the best known of the younger genera- 
tion of Lithuanian sculptors. He attended the School 
of Fine Arts at Vilnius, and subsequently the Academy 
at Petersburg. He soon made a name for himself with his 
ceramic productions. A very typical piece of statuary 
shows a Lithuanian woman quarrelling with a Russian 
policeman who wishes to confiscate goods which have been 
smuggled across the Prussian frontier. 

Aleksandravicius has done honour to the Lithuanian 
name in America, having pursued his early studies at the 
Chicago Fine Arts Academy. In 1912 he returned to 
Lithuania and successfully directed the School of Fine 
Arts at Kaunas. The monument to the Lithuanian 
philologist, Dr. Jaunius, is his work. 

Jusaitis represents Lithuanian art in France and 
Germany, having studied at Paris and Munich. He works 
in marble and has produced groups which have attracted 
flattering attention in many salons of Paris and of 
expositions in Vilnius. 

Other names that occur to one are Ulianskis, Antokolski, 
Velioniskis, and Vivulskis, the three last of whom have 
followed their career almost entirely abroad, but are none 
the less Lithuanian by origin. 

It is noteworthy that, with few exceptions, the most 
distinguished of modern art exponents in Lithuania are 
drawn from the ranks of the people. This remark holds 
specially true of the sculptors. 

Before leaving the subject, a few words should be said 
about a more humble but very interesting category of 
Lithuanian art production, in the shape of the peasants* 
handicrafts in wood and amber which are beginning to 
attract attention beyond the confines of Lithuania. Wood- 
carving, more particularly, has attained a high pitch of 
excellence as exemplified in everyday articles like walking- 
sticks, culinary utensils, boxes, sabots, etc. Motives 
drawn from the animal and vegetable kingdom are popular 


and often executed with astounding fidelity. In domestic 
architecture, which remains to-day very much what it 
was centuries ago, we find the same principles applied- 
Many Lithuanian farm-houses are ornamented with 
elaborate carvings, heads of animals being a favourite 
theme. The implement used is often an ordinary saw, 
and the pains bestowed upon the task are considerable* 
The Lithuanian peasants are very proud of these master- 
pieces. Weaving is an artistic occupation which the 
Lithuanian people practice with success. For centuries 
women and girls have applied themselves assiduously 
to the work. Much taste and fancy are devoted to various 
articles of feminine wearing apparel, which are designed 
in brilliant colours. Swaddling clothes for infants, ribbons 
to decorate musical instruments, scarves, hat-bands, 
tablecloths, gloves, and so forth, are all items of this 
domestic industry. Crosses are another characteristic 
product of Lithuanian popular art. These Catholic 
people love the symbol of their faith, and one finds it almost 
everywhere, on the roads, in silent cemeteries, in front of 
houses and churches. These crosses usually measure 
five to six metres in height, and are always very carefully 
made. They are adorned with images of Christ, the Virgin, 
and the Saints, and often reproduce entire scenes from 
biblical history. Frequently, too, these crosses are painted 
in lively colours. Every farm has its large crucifix, which 
is reverently tended and occasionally surrounded by a 
flowerbed. Many of these specimens of Lithuanian 
popular art were destroyed in the war, and it will be one 
of the tasks of the New State to preserve the residue. 
Exhibitions of peasants* handicrafts are now regularly 
held at Kaunas, and well repay a visit. 

In the churches one may observe the decisive influence 
which Christianity has exercised over Lithuanian art. 
These structures are so numerous that Lithuania is some- 
times called the land of churches. They are usually 
erected on an eminence, those built on the lofty banks of 
the Nemunas enjoying a wonderful situation. Originally 
the churches were built of wood, which is the most easily 
procurable building material in Lithunia. The earliest 


structures were small. In course of time they grew more 
spacious and artistic, the interior being adorned with 
wooden pillars. The belfry was formerly separate from 
the main building, and usually higher, in two stories. 
In many places the churches are enclosed with a high 
wall. The style of these wooden churches has hardly 
varied for centuries. 

On the other hand, stone churches, found chiefly in the 
towns, have had an interesting development. The first 
churches were built of brick. Several specimens may be 
seen at Vilnius ; the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul, 
and the church of the Franciscans at Kaunas date also 
from this epoch. They are of Gothic architecture and 
several, viz., St. Bernard and St. Anne at Vilnius, are 
regarded as amongst the most perfect monuments of that 
style. With the counter-Reformation, directed above all 
by the Jesuits, the Italian cupola was introduced into 
Lithuanian architecture. Thereafter specimens of the 
Italian renascence and the baroque style predominated. 
Towards the end of the XVIIIth century and at the 
beginning of the XlXth, Greek models came into favour 
at Vilnius, but these were succeeded again by a wave of 
Gothic influence manifested in the churches of Vilki and 
Janov among others. Many of the church altars belong- 
ing to the counter-Reformation period are magnificent, 
affording striking proof of a rich imagination. Images 
of the Madonna are common in Lithuania. The most 
celebrated Is that of " Ausros Vartai " (Ostrabama) at 
Vilnius, which is regarded as a national sanctuary. Even 
the Russians, in their most iconoclastic mood, never 
ventured to interfere with this emblem. 

The Lithuanians are essentially a music-loving people. 
Here again, a distinction must be drawn between popular 
music and the art of musical composition. In the former 
sphere, melodies for the dainos are most common. These 
motifs have never been fixed on paper, but have 'been 
transmitted from ear to ear and mouth to mouth. They 
are generally as old as the words. Recent investigation 
has proved that these chants were composed according to 
the Greek musical system, in the diatonic style proper 


to Hellenic music. Thus the connexion between the 
Greek and Lithuanian peoples is verified not only in the 
ethnographic and philosophical domains, but also in that 
of music. The resemblance to the music of the lonians 
and Dorians is most striking in the finale of Lithuanian 
popular songs. It consists m this, that the final note gives 
the pitch of the piece. An interesting example of this 
similitude is the finale of the Hymn of Homer to Demetrius, 
which is preserved almost intact to this day in the region 
of Trakai. Even the rhythm of Lithuanian songs recalls 
Greek melodies. Occasionally we find the bar of two or 
four time suddenly interrupted by a bar of three time. 
.Very often also in a piece of 4/4 time appears a bar of 5/4. 
It is not uncommon to encounter a melody which begins 
with a bar of 2/4 and ends with one of 5/8* 

The dainos to-day form an essential part of the Lithuanian 
musical art. The people consider these melodies their own 
and are deeply devoted to them* The sailor on his raft 
which carries him down the Nemunas to the sea times his 
poling to the elegiacs of the dainos. The peasant wields 
his scythe to the same accompaniment. Lithuanian girls 
and women while weaving invoke in their dainos a more 
beautiful world, a life replete with the joys of spring. 
These melodies are a national heritage which neither 
Russian nor Polish gendarmes could destroy. 

Among musicians of the Lithuanian revival one of the 
best known abroad is Mikas Petrauskas, who studied at 
Petersburg and Paris. Several years before the war he 
established himself in America, where he opened a 
Lithuanian conservatoire. Petrauskas is known as a 
composer of operettas, and his works have been produced 
with brilliant success on the stage of the United States. 
He is also a noted tenor, and for some time sang at the 
Russian Imperial Opera. His younger brother Kipras 
Petrauskas is even better known as a tenor for the most 
part connected with the Russian opera, both before and 
since the Revolution. He has constantly been associated 
with the famous Shalyapin who regards him as perhaps 
the greatest tenor in Russia, and therefore in the world, 
younger Petrauskas recently returned to Lithuania, 


where he is working hard to develop Lithuanian opera, 
and that too with no small success. Native talent is 
extraordinarily rich in that country and only needs 
encouraging. Other well-known Lithuanian musicians 
are S. Simkus, Talat-Kelpsa, T. Sasnauskas, Brazys and 

Simkus, like Petrauskas, is a pupil of the Petersburg 
conservatoire. He has set to music a series of dainos 
and composed many choruses which are widespread 
in Lithuania. 

Sasnauskas is also a well-known composer who studied 
at Petersburg. His cantatas have achieved a signal 
success, and have been performed on numerous occasions 
in Russia and America. The Lithuanians abroad frequently 
organize musical seances in order to cultivate the national 
sentiment of the members of the colony and maintain 
amicable relations among them. 

Brazys is one of the most eminent authorities on musical 
theory in Lithuania. He was formerly director of the 
choir at the Vilnius cathedral, and is the author of numerous 
scientific works on the Lithuanian popular songs. His 
most recent publication entitled Melodies of Lithuanian 
Dainos appeared a few years ago. 

Naujalis is best known as a church composer. He 
pursued his studies at the conservatoire of Ratisbonne ; 
later he became organist of the cathedral at Kaunas. His 
principal works belong to church music, his hymns and 
religious songs enjoying a high reputation. Naujalis 
also composed melodies for the patriotic poems of Maironis, 
Founder and professor of the conservatoire at Kaunas, 
he has made a name for himself in the teaching of music. 

The most characteristic Lithuanian national instruments 
are the kanHys, truba, and a kind of kettledrum. 
Formerly the kanklys was widely used to accompany the 
dainos, but to-day is less popular. The truba is a kind of 
flute. Violins and concertinas are also in common use 
among the peasantry. 

The love of music in all its forms is deeply ingrained in 
Lithuanian character. The Lithuanian soldier, like the 
Russian, invariably sings on the march, and I shall always 



associate my life in Kaunas with the sound of these military 
chants given forth by deep-chested infantrymen in the 
early hours of morning, as I lay half waking, half sleeping, 
in my comfortable bed at the British Mission in Keistucio 


I append here for reference the text of the Lithuanian national 
hymn, together with an English metrical rendering, for which I am 
indebted to Miss A. C. Sawers, a member of the staff of the Lithu- 
anian Legation, London: 

Lithuanian Text. 
Lietuva, tevyne musu, 
Tu didvyriy zeme ! 
Is praeities tavo sunus 
Te stipryb$ semia* 
Tegu tavo vaikai eina 
Vien takais dorybes, 
Tegu dirba tavo naudai 
Ir zmoniy gerybei. 
Tegu saule Lietuvos 
Tamsumus praSahna, 
Ir viesa ir tiesa 
' Mus fcingsnius telydi, 
Tegu meile Lietuvos 
Dega raus\x sirdyse 1 
Vardan tos Lietuvos 
Vienybe telydi ! 

English Version. 
Lithuania, land of heroes, 

Thou our Fatherland that art, 
From the glorious deeds of ages 

Shall thy sons take heart. 
May thy children, day by day, 
Labour in the narrow way, 
May they strive, 

While they can, 
For the greater good of man. 

May the sun of Lithuania 
Pierce the darkness of the night, 
And the light of truth and honour 

Guide our steps aright. 
May the love of our dear land 
Nerve andstrengthen heart and hand, 
We will strive, 

While we can, 
For the brotherhood of man. 


I HAVE mentioned in earlier chapters the manner of my 
introduction to Lithuania through the British Commission 
for the Baltic Provinces (sic). 

But my association with the Lithuanians themselves 
ante-dates my modest activities with the British Commission 
and subsequently as British Vice-Consul in Kaunas and 
Vilnius. It goes back indeed to spacious days in Russia 
Proper, early during the war when I was working at the 
then Petrograd, now again happily Petersburg, as assistant 
correspondent for The Times. There in my scanty leisure 
I foregathered with the new sportsmen as a member of an 
athletic club yclept " Sanitas " somewhat reminiscent 
of a fashionable tooth-powder, but a worthy institution 
none the less where I knew Pozhela, a young Lithuanian, 
the amateur champion middle-weight wrestler of Russia 
in the Graeco-Roman or French style. He was, I well 
recall, a wonderful physical specimen, as are many of 
his countrymen, with his black hair, rosy cheeks, retrousse 
nose and ever-ready smile. Allowing for the limitations 
of the French system, Pozhela was one of the most naturally 
gifted mat-men I have ever seen, and had he taken up the 
infinitely superior Japanese art of Judo, would certainly 
have become a top-notcher- He was absolutely tireless 
and his good nature and high spirits never flagged. He 
came back from the Dvma front badly wounded in the right 
arm, but soon recovered and wrestled as hard as ever. 
When I asked him if the war had affected his nerves he 
seemed tremendously amused. Nerves did not worry 

It is, therefore, some slight moral satisfaction to realize 



that even in those days I was fully aware that the 
Lithuanians were not Russians, but a distinct race with 
a distinctive language. 

My resumption of Lithuanian ties was with a gentleman 
who has achieved a high reputation in a walk of life 
somewhat different from that so successfully cultivated 
by young Pozhela. I refer to Mr. T. Naroushevitch 
(Narusevicius), at the time of writing the popular Lithu- 
anian Diplomatic Representative in London. I returned 
from Russia to Japan shortly before the Revolution 
of March 1917, and it was at Tokyo that I first met 
Mr. Naroushevitch, who, then an official in the Moscow 
municipal administration, had come to Japan on business, 
and invoked my services as translator from Russian 
into English. Four years or so later we met again quite 
unexpectedly at the Lithuanian President's residence in 
Kaunas, and were not long in recognizing each other and 
in renewing our former acquaintance. 

I journeyed down from Riga to Kaunas at the end of 
August 1919 in charge of a heavy motor-lorry laden with 
preliminary supplies for our branch mission. With me 
was Mr. S. W. Powell, now British Vice-Consul at Kaunas. 
In addition we had two Lettish chauffeurs and two Let- 
tish soldiers as armed guards, both decidedly " hefty " 
lads, who apparently would have welcomed nothing more 
heartily than a chance for a scrap with the detested Germans, 
who at that date were still in occupation of the territory 
south of Riga, and without whose " Ausweis " passage 
through those regions would have been impossible. This 
was on the eve of the outrageous Bermondt adventure, 
and we frequently passed machine-gun posts where 
German "non-coms" carefully scrutinized our papers before 
allowing us to continue our journey. On more than one 
occasion we had the privilege of giving a lift to sturdy 
specimens of the famous Iron Division which figured 
largely throughout the sporadic fighting with Latvia 
and Estonia, which preceded the armistice so ably arranged 
a short time before by Colonel S. G. Tallents, the British 
Commissioner, at Strasdenhoff, on the Aa River, 
I well remember that this motor-lorry trip of about 


150 miles was no joy ride, despite the magnificent weather 
which favoured us throughout. The going was quite good 
as far as Shavli, but after that we were constantly hitting 
sandy stretches into which the heavy wheels of the lorry 
deeply sank, stopping further progress till we had descended 
and shoved behind with all the beef at our disposal. Not 
only that, but we were continually compelled to excavate 
loads of sand from under the wheels and lay down tree 
branches as rails for the wheels to pass over until the ground 
grew firmer. Tiring work, this was, in a temperature 
nearer 90 than 80 in the shade. 

In due course we reached that festive little health 
resort known as Radzivilishki, where we decided to stay 
the night. The place was full of German troops, and while 
we halted our limousine to let our guards seek out 
appropriate quarters, we found ourselves the cynosure of 
many a sinister Teutonic eye. Two of these belonged to 
a stocky red-faced unter-offizier whose broad deep chest 
was adorned with an iron cross. He seemed more than 
ordinarily interested in us, but did not ask for an intro- 
duction. The motive of his curiosity was revealed later. 
- After a good deal of reconnoitring, we put up for the 
night at a luxurious caravansery styled the Bristol, if my 
memory serves me rightly. It was a two-bedded room 
into which we were ushered, so Powell took one bed and 
I the other. The motor-lorry meanwhile had been run 
round to a neighbouring garage. Although severely 
assailed during the night by a species of wingless 
mosquito, we were so weary in the wake of our strenuous 
exertions that we soon fell asleep. We were aroused, 
however, about midnight by the abrupt entry of a small 
posse of German soldiers, headed by none other than our 
rubicond friend of the iron cross, who, with profuse 
apologies, explained that we were suspected of smuggling 
lethal weapons in our lorry, and must therefore accompany 
the posse to the Military Commandant for interrogation. 

Having protested in the best German I could muster at 
such short notice, I as O.C. Lorry rose, dressed myself, 
and did the bidding of these burly myrmidons. One 
of our Lettish chauffeurs went with me as guide for the 


return trip, because the night was black as pitch, and I 
should never have been able to find my way back unaided. 
Luckily the ensuing ordeal did not prove very terrible. 
With my Ausweise and my winning way I was soon able 
to convince the commandant a very worthy fellow 
that my intentions were strictly civilian and that my lorry 
freight was harmless, wherefore we shook hands with 
considerable eclat and parted for ever. 

Resuming our ride the next morning we finally ran into 
Keidany. As we were ambling bumpily over the cobbled 
streets a young and handsome man in the uniform, as I 
subsequently discovered, of the Lithuanian aviation 
corps, bounded out of a wayside house and clambered up 
behind. Turning to me in German he explained that he 
had been piloting Colonel Robinson, Head of the British 
Military Mission at Kaunas, down from Riga, but had run 
out of petrol, and had therefore landed in a neighbouring 
field and would be vastly obliged by a loan from our stores. 
We soon came upon the machine, an L.V.G., near which 
stood Colonel Robinson himself, a fine soldierly figure 
in uniform. While the young pilot was filling up, I asked 
Colonel Robinson who he might be. The Colonel placed 
a hand to his mouth and in a loud aside remarked, " Don't 
say a word, but he's a genuine Boche ! " We learned 
afterwards that his name was Rother, and that he was 
acting as a flying instructor in the Lithuanian aviation 

We all grew to love Rother, for he was a sunny cheerful 
character and, what is more to the purpose, a first-class 
airman. So cordial were our relations that we quite 
regretted his sudden departure for Germany some months 
later in very dramatic circumstances which I communicated 
at the time to the British Press, including The Aeroplane. 
This incident was connected with the capture by the 
Lithuanians near Dvinsk of a German Junker monoplane, 
which was flying to Moscow with two Turks, one of whom 
was subsequently known to be the famous Enver Pasha. 
They had descended too soon, thinking they were already 
in Russian territory, and the Lithuanian military had taken 
them into custody. For the time being the German pilot, 


named Hans Hesse, also a famous war airman who had 
flown from Berlin to Bagdad, and participated in many 
raids on English towns, and the two Turks were interned 
in a local hotel at Kaunas. Then one fine day the startling 
news was bruited abroad that the Turks had escaped. 
The manner of it was this. 

Young Rother had taken out a machine from the aero- 
drome, ostensibly on a practice flight, with one of his best 
pupils, as far as an outlying fort. Here, through some 
collusion, the two Turks with a military guard were 
enjoying a stroll. As the machine landed, they approached 
it, whereupon Rother whipped out a spare automatic and 
deftly threw it to them, whilst with another he covered 
his pupil * and made him re-start the propeller. The 
two Turks, threatening the guard in their turn, then got 
into the cockpit and Rother carried them safely off to 
Germany. The following day he had the nerve to telephone 
the General Staff from Tilsit to say that if they would p#y 
him his arrears of salary he would return the stolen aero- 
plane. It was reported that he received something like 
a million marks for this daring rescue, and he certainly 
deserved it. I never met anybody who did not cordially 
admire Rother for his skill and courage, which particularly 
appealed to our British officers then at Kaunas. 

To resume after this digression. Colonel Robinson 
told me that, not trusting Rother, he had sat behind him 
all the way from Riga with a drawn revolver in his hand, 
but fortunately Rother had played no tricks. From 
Keidany my companion Powell, not being very well, left 
the motor-lorry and flew with Colonel Robinson to Kaunas, 
which they reached in twenty minutes. Powell had himself 
been an air cadet towards the end of the war and was 
therefore quite at home in a plane. Less lucky, we spent 
a good many hours on the road before arriving at our 
destination, thanks to more sand, and at one spot a regular 
bog into which the front wheels of the lorry sank after 
breaking through what had seemed a perfectly firm road 
surface. It took the united efforts of many able-bodied 
men from an adjacent village, and more than an hour's 
hard work, to extricate us from this impasse, but after 


that our luck changed for the better and we dashed down 
the Ukmerge chaussee, and the Laisves Aleja of Kaunas 
at dusk, in really fine style, and I was able to join my chief, 
Colonel R. B. Ward, and Powell at supper in the Metropole 
Hotel, where we had our temporary quarters, before turning 
in for a well-earned rest. 

From the very outset we made the acquaintance of 
Polish intrigues, for a Polish plot had just been unearthed 
and the town was under martial law, all street traffic 
being suspended from 9 p.m. I remember that we had 
to send a wireless message to Riga the same evening and 
that Powell and I were challenged at least six times in the 
course of a hundred yards* walk from the hotel to the wire- 
less station and back. 

The retrospect of my more than a year's sojourn at 
Kaunas, unbroken save for a few trips to Vilnius, including 
our ill-starred removal thither with the Lithuanian Govern- 
ment in the autumn of 1920, shows that we did not fare 
at all badly. Excellent premises, with all the comforts 
of home, were found for us at No. 19, Keistu&o Gatve, 
where we spent many pleasant, if strenuous days, for we 
were pioneers on the job, and had to do all the rough spade 
work for our professional successors. 

Food is good and plentiful in Lithuania, and we lived 
on the fat of the land, thus gradually filling out the con- 
cavities bequeathed by war service and increasing our 
neck and waist measurements. 

Colonel Ward was essentially an open-air man, and out 
of office we were constant companions, during the summer 
months on morning rides with our Lithuanian liaison 
officer, dear old Colonel Tomasauskas, on the bracing, 
beautifully timbered uplands ; as members of boisterous 
bathing parties in the swift waters of the Nemunas, or 
motor-boat trips thereon ; on occasional motoring jaunts 
to the famous Red Chateau and other neighbouring estates ; 
sometimes with Colonel Ward as pilot in an aeroplane 
flight over Kaunas ; and, last but not least, as ill -matched 
opponents in the classic game of clock golf in our back 
garden ; while in the winter we skated and tobogganed 


Our household pets comprised a couple of goats, several 
rabbits, a cat, and the Colonel's own personal possession, 
a delightful polizei-hund named Jim. In summer meals 
were taken in the garden, under a tree, where good digestion 
waited on appetite, thanks largely to the hilarity provoked 
by the pup's harmless persecution of the two goats. We 
in turn were persecuted by wasps which apparently had 
established a nest somewhere near our table, because 
although we must have slain hundreds in the course 
of the summer, we were never able to exhaust the supply. 
Fortunately none of us got stung. 

The story of our Vilnius experiences has been told in 
Chapter XIX. But while in reminiscent mood I may say 
that I first visited Vilnius, then Vilna, m the summer of 
1915, shortly before its capture by the Germans, when 
travelling through to Warsaw as a war correspondent. 
Again, I had paid the town a visit during the Polish 
regime in the winter of 1919-20, in bitterly cold weather 
which froze the oil in our Crossley overnight. My presence 
synchronized with that of Marshal Pilsudski and the Papal 
Nuncio, Cardinal Ratti, now Pope of Rome, who were 
attending special service in the cathedral at the time. 
Large bodies of Polish cavalry and infantry were paraded 
in the wide open space fronting the cathedral, where, 
despite a temperature which menaced my toes with frost- 
bite after remaining stationary for even a few minutes, 
these poor fellows were compelled to stand for upwards of 
an hour, in terrible physical discomfort, to satisfy the Polish 
love of " swank ** and puerile military display. I then 
had an opportunity to confirm the previous impression 
gained from my second visit to Warsaw not long before, 
that the Poles had succumbed badly to the imperialistic 
spirit. Officers formed virtually a privileged class to whom 
precedence was granted everywhere, notably on the rail- 
ways, where the mere civilian had to be content with such 
accommodation as was available after my lords the officers 
had been served. The practice of saluting on the smallest 
provocation had been Testored in all its pristine glory. 
No officer entered a restaurant, hotel lounge or other 
public place, without looking anxiously around for some 


brother officer to salute, and one felt instinctively that 
his failure to find a victim would involve severe disappoint- 
ment. Other less showy, but more useful qualifications 
of an officer's calling, especially solicitude for the comfort 
and welfare of one's men, and technical knowledge, were 
not cultivated with anything like the same enthusiasm* 

I should like also to add a few words about the brief 
Bolshevik regime in the city prior to the entry of the 
Lithuanians in the summer of 1920. I hold no brief 
for the Soviet, but seeing that it was my duty to enter 
Vilnius with Captain Baring Gould, then British Military 
Attache, immediately after the withdrawal of the Red 
Army and the assumption of authority by the Lithuanians, 
I feel entitled to refer to the preposterous reports of 
Bolshevik atrocities which were sedulously printed by a 
certain section of the West European Press. It was 
stated, for instance, that something like 1,500 persons 
had been shot. As a matter of fact, the most painstaking 
investigation by the Lithuanian officials could not verify 
more than thirty of such executions, and the majority of 
the victims were Polish soldiers. Incidentally, I myself 
examined one of the graves in which Several bodies had 
been buried in the outskirts of the town. It may be taken 
for granted that for every person shot by the Bolsheviks 
the Poles had similarly taken toll of adherents of the 
Soviet, so the account was perfectly squared. I allude 
to the matter just to show what monstrous exaggerations 
are apt to gain a start of the truth when the inspiration 
is tendencious. 

The Rother incident was not our only aeroplane 
adventure. It is well known that German machines main- 
tained regular communication with Moscow, though as 
a rule they flew so high as to be scarcely discernible. 
Once more, however, as in the case of the Junker mono- 
plane, luck deserted a German pilot who was carrying 
the famous Swiss Communist Von Platen in a Gotha from 
Moscow to Germany in the spring, I think, of 1920. Von 
Platen had with him his newly-wedded wife, who,*feesides 
being herself a convinced and fervent Bolshevik, was a 
celebrated Russian soprano. The machine ran out of 


petrol owing to a leak, so the story ran, and had to land 
in Lithuanian territory, not far from Kaunas* Von 
Platen himself was detained some time in prison, but his 
wife was allowed to live at an hotel, where I made her 
acquaintance. We also met on several occasions at the 
home of a mutual friend, where I had the good fortune to 
hear her sing. She certainly had a wonderful voice, 
perfectly trained, and I thoroughly enjoyed these few 
meetings. I can well believe that the lady made a very 
able propagandist of Communist principles. She spoke 
with obvious sincerity about the proletarian love of music 
in Russia and declared that no artist could wish for a more 
attentive audience than one composed of the working 
classes, who did not attend in order to exhibit their clothes 
but to listen. Both Von Platen and his talented wife 
were eventually released and went, I believe, to Switzerland. 

During our stay in Kaunas we naturally met most of the 
Lithuanian leaders, notably Smetona, the first President, 
Slezevicius, Narusevicius, Stulginskis, Galvanauskas, Dob- 
kevicius, Dr. J. Sliupas, M. P. Klimas, M. Yeas, Balutis, 
Kairys, the able Social Democratic chieftain : Baron 
Silingas ; Professor Simkus ; Professor Voldemaras, and 
others. The last-named was the head of the first Lithuanian 
Cabinet in November 1918, but besides his connexion with 
politics is a distinguished scholar who, before that date, 
had taught history and classic philology at the Universities 
of Petersburg and Perm. He reads, writes and speaks 
fifteen languages, including English, which he knows 
almost perfectly although he has never been in England. 
As a raconteur I have rarely met his equal, and on many 
occasions he kept the table " on a roar " with his amusing 
anecdotes drawn from every walk of life. But the gift 
of tongues is common enough among the Lithuanians. 
The servants at our consulate nearly all spoke four, i.e. 
Lithuanian, Polish, Russian and German. 

In the course of our official duties, it was our privilege 
to announce to the Lithuanian Government Great Britain's 
de facto recognition of Lithuanian independence, which 
resulted in a popular ovation in our honour outside the 
Metropole Hotel, where we were then quartered, in the 


autumn of 1919. It is to be regretted that we had to leave 
our post without being permitted to convey an intimation 
of de jure recognition, to which Lithuania was long ago 

While we thus waver and procrastinate, France and 
Poland are perfecting their plans for the political and 
military domination of Eastern Europe, the essential 
prelude in their case to the hoped-for economic strangle- 
hold. If they cannot achieve their entire programme in 
Upper Silesia they will leave no stone unturned to involve 
both Lithuania and the Memel region in their toils. The 
Franco-Polish policy of alienating the Memel region from 
the rest of Lithuania at all costs has led to an anomalous 
situation which I have already attempted to describe 
elsewhere. If we are not careful we shall wake up one of 
these days to belated realization that the Poles, in collusion 
with their French patrons, have carved out another 
" corridor," this time from the south through Lithuania 
along the Nemunas River to link up with the Memel region. 
Whether or not before then Memel had received the 
nominal status of an independent State, France would see 
that in practice Poland possessed the port she covets in 
fee simple, regardless of the national susceptibilities of 
the Lithuanian majority. 

With the mass of data available to substantiate the 
foregoing anticipation, it seems strange that British 
statesmanship can continue blind to what is going on or 
so callous to British economic and political interests as 
to connive at it. Granted that Lithuania herself would 
never voluntarily sign her own death warrant by accepting 
any such solution of her difference with Poland as that so 
blandly proffered by M. Hymans, it would be childish in 
the light of facts to imagine that Polish " diplomacy, 95 
fertile in underhand expedients, will not eventually succeed 
in precipitating another fait accompli in Western Lithuania, 
on the familiar lines of the Zehgowski and Korfanty 
adventures in Eastern Lithuania and Upper Silesia 
respectively. Poland will act thus, as she has acted in 
the past, with the open or secret approval and backing 
of the Quai d'Orsay. 


Confession is good for the soul. The special and peculiar 
bane of the post-bellum situation here and elsewhere has 
been and is the refusal to recognize facts, and the habit 
of repeating parrot-like the thing that is not. The thing 
that is not, so far as Poland and Lithuania, and Poland 
and Upper Silesia are concerned, is a community of Franco- 
British interests, and one very salient fact we refuse to 
recognize is the necessity for a change of British policy 
to meet the lack of such community* We have seen from 
the first that so long as the Polish-Lithuanian dispute 
is entrusted to the tender mercies of the French and Belgian 
members of the League of Nations, there can be no settle- 
ment save by force majeure and the stultification of every 
principle for which the war is supposed to have been fought. 
France is irrevocably bound to Poland by special pacts, 
and to imagine that either her representatives or those of 
Belgium, who shares France's Welt-Politik, will ever 
sanction a decision running counter to Polish wishes and 
ambitions is too feeble for words. 

If it is too late in the day to appeal to justice, then let 
me appeal at least to self-interest to elicit from all classes 
of the British public, who have to work for a living, a 
plainly-worded demand that political reactionaries shall 
no longer be permitted to penalize an entire people whose 
friendship and pro-British orientation may in the near 
future prove an invaluable asset to this country* 



The Delegation of the Government of Lithuania, composed of : 

(1) Representatives of the Lithuanian High Command, Lieut- 
General Maxim Katche and Commander Alexander Sumskis, 

(2) Representatives of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Messrs. 
Bronius Balutis, Voldemar Carneckis, and Mykolas Birzi&ka, 

and the Delegation of the Government of Poland, composed of : 

(1) Representative of the Polish High Command, Colonel 

(2) Representative of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, M. Jules 

met at the Conference of Suvalki, on September 30-October 7, 
1920, and, after having presented their credentials, which were 
recognized in good and proper form, concluded the following 


On the Line of Demarcation. 

(a) A line of demarcation, which does not decide beforehand 
what are the territorial rights of the two contracting parties, is 
fixed in the following manner: 

From the frontier of East Prussia to the confluence of the Tcharna- 
Hantcha with the Niemen, i.e. the line fixed by the decision of the 
Supreme Council on December 8, 1919 ; then along the Niemen to 
the mouth of the Greva ; then ascending the Greva to the line 
Noretch-Rotnitsa ; then in a straight line to the confluence of the 
Scroblis with the Neretchanka ; then along the Neretchanka to the 
mouth of the Derechnitsa, leaving the village of Salovertsy on the 
Lithuanian side and the village Holodubno on the Polish side ; 
along the Derechnitsa to the spot where it is crossed by the Vilna- 
Orany railway, almost 2J kilometres to the east of the Orany 
station ; then along the road through Bartele Kuice, Novy-Dvor, 
Eishishki, Podzitwa, Horodenka, and the station of Bastouny, 
leaving this road and the Bastouny station in the hands of the 
Polish authorities. 



(6) In proportion as hostilities between the Polish troops and 
Lithuanian troops cease, the above-mentioned line throughout its 
extent, hi conformity with Chapter II of the present agreement, 
must not under any pretext be passed by the troops of the two 
contracting parties. However, this Ime shall not prevent the 
peasants from cultivating their fields which are situated on the 
other side of it. 

(c) The establishment on the spot of the line of demarcation 
on the ground of the old government of Suvalki in the portions 
that are contemplated by the decision of the Supreme Council of 
December 8, 1919, shall be referred to the Control Commission of 
the League of Nations. 

On the Cessation of Hostilities. 

(a) In confirming and completing the cessation of hostilities 
between the Polish army and the Lithuanian army, which have 
been accepted during the present Conference, and which have only 
a provisional character and relate only to certain places, the two 
contracting parties undertake to cease all hostilities on the entire 
length of file line of demarcation described in Chapter I, para, (a), 
of the present agreement, i.e. from the frontier of East Prussia to 
the southern line which passes through Potourse, almost 9 kilo- 
metres to the south-east of Eishishki. 

The Soviet troops having been removed to the east of the Vilna- 
Lida railway, military actions shall be stopped between the Polish 
troops and the Lithuanian troops on the sector of the line of demar- 
cation between the southern line of the village of Potourse and the 
station of Bastouny inclusively. 

(c) As regards the cessation of hostilities and the establishment of 
the tine of demarcation between the Lithuanian troops and the Polish 
troops in the region to the east of the southern line of the village of 
Bastouny, these questions shall be regulated by a special agreement 
when the Soviet troops are removed from there. In case of failure 
to arrive at this agreement, the two contracting parties, in order to 
determine these questions, reserve the right to appeal to the League 
of Nations. 

On the Station of Orany. 

(a) The Polish authorities undertake to allow to pass freely 
through the station of Orany, Lithuanian trains which are pro- 
ceeding from Ohta to Vilna and return, except troop trains and 
trams with war material, and guarantee to the Lithuanian 
trains at the Orany station all help and all technical conditions 
necessary for their free movement in either direction. 

(6) As an exception, the Polish Government consents to allow to 
pass without difficulty through the Orany station trains with troops 


and war materials which are proceeding from Olita to Vilna, on 
condition that there are not more than seven of them ; that there 
shall not pass more than two trains a day, and that the passage 
of these trains through the Orany station shall take place between 
seven and 17 o'clock Polish time. 

(c) Supervision of the strict execution of the decisions described 
in paragraphs (a) and (b) of the present Chapter shall be entrusted 
to the Control Commission of the League of Nations. 


On the Exchange of Prisoners. 

The two contracting parties declare reciprocal consent hi prin- 
ciple to begin the exchange of all prisoners made by either con- 
tracting party. The order and date of exchange shall be decided 


On the Duration of Agreement* 

The present agreement comes into force at noon of October 10, 
1920, this date, however, not affecting the cessation of hostilities 
already accepted, and remains in force until all litigious questions 
between the Poles and the Lithuanians shall be definitely settled. 

During re-drafting of the present agreement the two contracting 
parties have made use of the map of the German General Staff on 
a scale of 1 : 100,000. 

The present treaty is drafted in two equivalent copies, in Lithu- 
anian and in Polish, and is signed at SuvalM, on October 7, 1920. 

For the Lithuanian Delegation. Lieut. -General Katche, Bronius 
Balutis, Voldemaras Carneckis, Mykolas Birziska, Majoras 

For the Polish Delegation. M. Mackiewiez, Colonel ; J. Lukasiewicz. 



Into Military Events of the Polish -Lithuanian Conflict from 
July 1920 to October 9 of the same year, the date of 
the occupation of Vilna by the Polish Troops of General 

Attached is an Explanatory Note from the Chief of the General 
Staff of the Lithuanian Army, Colonel KLEINSKAS. 


6th. In consequence of the Bolshevik offensive, the Polish 
army began the evacuation of the region situated between Dvinsk 
and Tunnont. 



7th. The Chief of the 3rd Lithuanian Division received orders 
to advance and occupy the region evacuated by the Poles. An 
encounter has taken place between Lithuanian and Russian detach- 
ments near Lavkes. A detachment of Bolshevik cavalry arrived 
at the Turmont station and demanded a free passage through the 
Lithuanian lines in view of an attack of Polish forces m the rear. 
A categorical refusal was opposed to this demand. Major Kos- 
CIALKOVSKI arrived from Vilna at the Lithuanian Headquarters 
with a proposal that the Lithuanian Command should withdraw 
all its forces from the line of demarcation and dispose them between 
Dvinsk and Lake Drisviaty, with absolute prohibition to cross the 
demarcation lines. To this proposal was joined one for the 
elaboration of a general plan of military operations against the 

A refusal was given to this unseasonable proposal of Major 


8th-llth, The Lithuanian armies successively occupied the 
localities evacuated by the Polish troops. 

12th. The Lithuanian troops extinguished a fire caused by Poles 
in the region of Lakes Golodus (Suvalki) and Meischagoly. 

14th. News to hand of a complete evacuation of Vilna by the 
Poles and of the approach of the Bolsheviks. Orders at once 
given to the Chief of the 1st Division to entrain his troops and 
put them en route in order to occupy Vilna. At the same moment, 
a report arrived from the Lithuanian liaison officer with the Poles, 
according to which Colonel RYLSKI had been sent to Kovno with 
a proposal to the Lithuanian Government to send its troops by 
rail to Vilna and to occupy that city. 

This proposal did not prevent the Polish troops from directing 
a violent fire on the Lithuanian echelons 6 kilometres from Vievis, 
which gave rise to a fight lasting three hours. The Lithuanian 
losses were several dozen killed and wounded. 

This fight had the effect of retarding by 24 hours the advance 
of the Lithuanians and permitting the Bolsheviks to occupy Vilna. 
15th. The Lithuanian troops enter Vilna. 
16th. Lithuanian forces occupy RudzischM, Orany and Mar- 

17th. A Polish brigade having penetrated into Lithuanian 
territory is interned in Lithuania. 

18th. Lithuanian troops occupy Druskiniki and Rotnitza. 
19th. In consequence of the demand of the inhabitants of 
Suvalki to come to their help against the Bolsheviks, orders are 
given to the 1st Battalion of the Reserve to occupy the region 
evacuated by the Polish troops. The battalion occupies the line 
of villages Bobcy, Vizainy, TschaplichM, Slobodka, as far as Lake 
Seivy and Kadych. 

2&th. The Poles precipitately evacuate Suvalki and Augustovo. 
. The Lithuanian troops progressively advance. 


29th. The Poles have definitely left Suvalki. 

30th. At 20 o'clock the Lithuanian forces enter Suvalki. 


2nd. The Lithuanian troops at Suvalki have advanced as far 
as the line Ratchi, Plotitchno, Lake Vigrus, Tscharna, Gantcha, 
Vysoki Most, Boudvietce. 

6th. An agreement is signed with the representatives of the 
Bolshevik High Command, according to which the Bolsheviks pledge 
themselves to evacuate Lithuanian territory before August 24th. 

8th. The Lithuanian troops have advanced as far as the line 
of the Augustovo Canal. 

llth. The Bolsheviks arrive at Rotnitza with a view to organ- 
izing a " Revkom " (Revolutionary Committee), but are driven 
from this locality by Lithuanian soldiers. 

16th, At Vilna, Lithuanian soldiers guard the public buildings 
from which the Bolsheviks have been expelled. 

21st. Armed Bolsheviks made their appearance in the region 
of Sopotzkine. After an armed collision with the Lithuanian 
troops the Bolsheviks retired. 

Representatives of the " Revkon " of Augustovo demanded from 
the Commander of the 1st Reserve Battalion the surrender of 
Sopotzkine and received a categorical refusal. 

22nd. The Commanders of the 1st Division and the Mariampol 
Group received orders not to allow the Bolsheviks to cross Lithuanian 

23rd. News to hand of a Bolshevik check. The Bolsheviks 
demand passage through Lithuanian territory for their wounded. 
This has been refused. 

Delegates from the 15th Bolshevik Army present themselves at 
Seiny to the Commander of the Mariampol Group, authorized to 
conduct negotiations with the Lithuanian authorities concerning 
a passage into Lithuanian territory for the 15th Bolshevik Army. 
The Commander of the Mariampol Group receives orders to refuse 
the said passage to the Bolsheviks, and the Mariampol Group is 
reinforced with two regiments and two batteries. 

24th. An order is given to the Lithuanian armies to occupy 
the second demarcation line against the Bolsheviks. 

The Commandant of Vilna is charged with the administration 
of that town, 

Lithuanian detachments destroy the railway between Orany 
and Olkenild with a view to preventing Bolshevik forces in retreat 
from proceeding to Vilna. 

A delegation arrives from Grodno at DruskeniM demanding the 
occupation of Grodno. In consequence, the Commander of the 
Mariampol Group receives an order to send scouts to Grodno and 
to occupy, if possible, the line Grobovo-Augustovo-Shtabin, and 


the remainder of the Lithuanian State frontier, in conformity with 
the treaty concluded with Russia. 

The Commander of the Mariampol Group reports as follows : 
In his region considerable Bolshevik forces penetrated into Lithu- 
anian territory, but were arrested, disarmed, and sent to the rear 
under Lithuanian military escort. 

25th. Order given to the Commander of the 1st Division to 
intern the " Revkom " of Landvarovo. 

26th. Order given to the Commandant of Vilna to demand 
from the Bolsheviks an immediate evacuation of that town. 

A Polish delegation arrives at Kovno. It is composed of Colonel 
Matzkeviteh and Captain Romer, who propose a plan of combined 
action against Soviet Russia. 

27th. A delegation arrives from Grodno demanding that 
Lithuanian troops should occupy that town. 

28th. The Lithuanian Government sends to the Polish Govern- 
ment a Note in which it declares that Lithuania will observe strict 
neutrality in the Polish-Russian war. It proposes to the Polish 
Government to give an order to its troops not to pass the Lithuanian 
frontiers and, as regards the region of Suvalki (where the frontiers 
of Lithuania have not yet been fixed), to establish a provisional 
demarcation line Grayevo-Augustovo-Shtabin, in order to avoid 
sanguinary collisions. 

Polish forces composed of a regiment of infantry, a battery and 
a squadron penetrate into Augustovo. 

lie Commander of the Manampol Group receives an order : 

(1) Not to allow the Poles to approach the line occupied by us ; 

(2) To inform the Poles that, owing to our neutrality, we cannot 
permit them access to our territory, and that should the Poles 
undertake a forward movement, we shall be obliged to offer them 
armed resistance. 

30th. Having reinforced their troops at Augustovo and begun 
guerilla warfare against the Lithuanians, the Poles drove the 
Lithuanian detachments from Domorovo, Several Lithuanians 
were killed, wounded, and taken prisoners* 

At 20 o'clock the Poles launch an offensive against the Lithuanians 
on the whole Suvalki front. 

A French officer arrived at Suvalki, leaves for Augustovo with 
the Commander of the 10th Regiment of Infantry (Lithuanian) in 
order to confer with the Poles. The result of these pourparlers is 
the liberation of the Lithuanian company stationed at Augustovo, 

31st. The French General, Manneville, arrives at Seiny to 
inform the Chief of the 2nd Lithuanian Division that the Poles 
are advancing to occupy the Foeh line. The Chief of the Lithuanian 
Division declares to the French General that he has received no 
instructions on the subject. He adds that in the event of a forward 
movement by the Poles, he would be compelled to offer them 
armed resistance. 


The same day the Chief of the General Staff of the Lithuanian 
Army, Colonel KxEg&NSKAS,. had a telephone conversation with 
the said French General. The latter confirmed his communication 
on the subject of the intention of the Poles to occupy the Foch line. 
By order of the Commander-in-Chief of the Lithuanian Army, 
Colonel KLESOTNSKAS begged the General to transmit to the Poles 
a demand to halt at the points which they occupied at the moment, 
other questions to be elucidated by means of diplomatic negotia- 
tions. The French General replied that he had already advised 
the Polish Command thereof, but that it was impossible for him 
to demand from the Poles a stoppage of their advance, such a 
demand having no chance whatever of being taken into consideration 
by the Poles. 

Colonel KUE&&NSKAS declared, in the name of the Commander- 
in-Chief, that if the Poles, notwithstanding this proposal, continued 
their advance, the Commander-in-Chief would reserve for himself 
entire freedom of action. 

In spite of these pourparlers, the Poles continue their movement. 

Several hours later, the Poles, after a lively engagement, occupy 
Sefny and demand a withdrawal of the Lithuanian troops beyond 
the Foch line, for September 2nd at noon. 


2nd. The Lithuanian armies have reinforced their resistance to 
the Poles with a view to arresting their advance on Lithuanian 
territory. They have also occupied the line Farm of Yasinowska 

5th. The Poles have counter-attacked and the Lithuanian 
detachments were obliged to retire on the line Lipsk-Rudavka- 

The Chief of the Mariampol Group has received orders to defend 
the line Rigalovka-Lipsk-Bogatery-Rudovka-Czarna-Gansza-Lake 
Vigrey-Lake Perty-Kaletniki-Lipma-Fornetka-Lake Vizainy-Lake 

6th. In reply to a proposal of the Polish Government to open 
** direct negotiations with the object of finding an amicable solu- 
tion," the Lithuanian Government sends its consent, and proposes 
the town of Mariampol. 

7th-8th. Fighting on the entire front with varying success. 
The Lithuanians lose Seiny once more. 

9th. The Polish Government proposes for direct negotiations 
the town of Kalvaria instead of Mariampol. 

12th, The Lithuanian Government, while acquiescing in the 
proposal for negotiations at Kalvaria for September 14th, proposes 
to the Polish Government a suspension of hostilities on both sides 
on September 18th at midday. Without taking this proposal into 
account, the Poles continue their operations. 


13th, At 10 o'clock, continually repulsing Polish attacks, the 
Lithuanians occupy Seiny, and in conformity with the order of the 
Commander-in-Chief, at noon suspended their action on the entire 
front, with the exception of the village Giby where, as the Poles 
pursued their attacks, the Lithuanians were obliged to defend 

14th. Fighting is stopped on the entire front. 
At 5.30 a Polish parlementaire arrives at Kalvaria, with a letter 
for our delegation. He informs us that at noon on the 13th news 
was received at Warsaw of the consent of the Lithuanians to nego- 
tiations with the Poles, and that on the evening of 13th September 
orders were given to the Polish troops to suspend their operations. 
15th. A Polish delegation has arrived at Kalvaria with Colonel 
MatzMewicz as president. The Lithuanian delegation, with General 
Katehe, arrived at Kalvaria on the 14th* 

16th. At Kalvaria, negotiations. On the front, scouting 

18th. At 19.30 o'clock at Kalvaria, the negotiations are broken 
by the Poles, who refuse to establish along the line of 8th December 
1919 the neutral zone proposed by the Lithuanian delegation. 
Truce on the 19th till o'clock. 

19th-21st. The Poles renew the action against the Lithuanians 
on the entire front. 

There is sent from Vilna by rail, via Orany, the 7th Regiment, 
to occupy the Niemen to the south of Goza. 

The Poles having concentrated considerable forces, launched an 
offensive against the centre of our army and, after violent fighting 
we are thrown back on the line Lake Galadous-Dousmtsa-Jopse- 

The Lithuanian Government informs the Polish Government 
that as direct negotiations have given no result, it has decided to 
submit the settlement of the dispute to the League of Nations* 

23rd. Detachments of the Polish army are moving towards the 
Niemen with the object of crossing that river. The rest of the 
enemy's forces continue to harass the Lithuanian troops on the 
line Pazemiki--Jivulchichki-Niemen. 

At 22 o'clock the Poles cross the Niemen at Druskiniki after 
having cut off several detachments of the 7th Regiment stationed 
at the Martsinkancie station. Polish cavalry has destroyed the 
bridge over the Oula, which prevents the echelons (rolling-stock) 
of the 7th Regiment from opening a way to the north. 
24th. On the front, encounters between scouts. 
25th. The Poles who crossed the river at Druskiniki have 
attacked the rear of the Lithuanian detachments established to 
the south of the Martsinkancie station and in the neighbourhood 
of the village Natcha, forcing these detachments to retire to the 
east, the roads to the north being cut off by the Poles. 
26th. Important local engagements on the entire front- Some 


detachments of the 1st Infantry Regiment, under Polish pressure, 
are obliged to withdraw to the line Yurkchancie-Mistuny-Pulstoki- 
Kuze. Order given to the Lithuanian army to concentrate in the 
region of Vilna. 

The Polish Government proposes fresh direct negotiations for 
September 29th at SuvalkL 

27th-28th. The Lithuanian Government accepts the proposal 
for negotiations at Suvalki, and proposes the cessation of hostilities 
from the 29th. 

On the front, scout encounters. Orders are given to the armies 
to cease hostilities against the Poles on the entire front at noon 
on the 29th. 

29th. Negotiations with the Poles have begun at SuvalkL The 
Poles declare their consent to a truce, but only in the region of 
the highroad Kalvaria-Suvalki between 16 and 18 o'clock. 

30th. Owing to the insistence of the Lithuanian delegation, the 
Poles agree to a suspension of hostilities, but only west of the 
Niemen. They will not, however, agree to one east of the Niemen, 
ascribing then* refusal to their ignorance of the whereabouts of our 
armies and that of the Bolsheviks, and, indeed, while the negotiations 
are proceeding at Suvalki, the Poles, after concentrating forces 
south of the river Oula, assume the offensive along the Martsinkancie- 
Orany railway. 


1st. With the help of a Lithuanian armoured train, the Poles 
were repulsed. Notwithstanding their promise to cease hostilities, 
the Poles, to the west of the Niemen, have attacked our positions 
and driven back our detachments. 

2nd. The Poles renew the attack and occupy the villages 
Juratchichki (to the south of Orany) and Jirvine. 

3rd. At 6 o'clock considerable Polish forces launch an offensive 
against Orany, and at 9.30 occupy the town of Orany and the 
station of the same name. 

The Chief of the 3rd Division receives orders to dislodge the 
Poles from Orany, and drive them back beyond the river Oula. 

4th. The detachments of the 3rd Division succeeded in driving 
back some of the Poles, but the station and town of Orany remain 
in their hands. 

5th. Intermittent fire on the front. The order is given to the 
armies to entrench in their occupied positions and avoid all action. 
The Chief of Aviation receives orders not to bomb the Polish armies, 
and to suspend all machine-gun fire. 

6th. At the Suvalki Conference it is decided to suspend hostilities 
in the region of Orany (from the Niemen to the meridian of Poturtche) . 

Along the Vilna-Lida railway the Poles, assuming the offensive, 
have occupied Gervichki, Potchebuty, Pocholie and Beniakonie. 
, A delegation has left Vilna for Yachuny, composed of the English 


Major Pargiter, the French Captain Pujol, and the Lettish Colonel 
Ozol, in order to obtain from the Polish Command (nearest to 
Vilna) explanations of the reasons for the movements of Polish 
troops. At the same time the Poles at Suvalki declare that they 
have no intention of occupying Vilna. 

The result of the Suvalki Conference is as follows : An agreement 
is signed according to the terms of which a demarcation line will be 
established between the Lithuanian and Polish troops, commencing 
from the German frontier to the east, passing through Orany, and 
terminating at the railway station of Bastuny, to the south of Vilna. 

The Allied Delegation, returned to Vilna, reports that the Poles 
have declared that they have received no orders relative to the 
suspension of hostilities, and await instructions. 

8th. Superior Polish forces have launched an offensive from 
the south to the north against Vilna, which is defended by two 
battalions of the 4th Regiment, a battalion of the 9th Regiment, 
and one battery. 

Owing to the clearly ascertained intention of the Poles to occupy 
Vilna, the order for evacuation of this town is given, which order 
is executed on the night of 8th-9th October. During the whole 
day of the 8th and the night of the 9th a violent engagement 
developed south of Vilna. 

9th. Fighting continues with unequal forces (the Poles have 
about five divisions) till noon, after which the Lithuanian army 
receives orders to cross the Vihja and Vaka. At that time the 
evacuation of Vilna had already terminated. 

The Poles occupy Vilna. 

The foregoing summary has been compiled from data furnished 
by official documents and the War Diary of the General Staff of 
the Lithuanian Army 


The following appears from a rapid examination of the Polish- 
Lithuanian conflict between July 6th and September 9th ; 

1. While the Polish army was sustaining a series of reverses and 
at a time when the most feeble pressure by the Lithuanian army 
against the rear of the Polish army would have caused the latter 
a veritable catastrophe, the Lithuanian Government and army 
observed a perfectly correct attitude towards the Polish army 
(which had occupied Lithuanian territory since 1919), and perfect 
neutrality, categorically refusing Bolshevist troops passage through 
the Lithuanian lines and not hesitating to intern them. 

2. When the Lithuanian Government and its army, owing to the 
failure of the Polish army, were endeavouring to occupy Lithuanian 
territory and the capital Vilna as quickly as possible and liberate 
them from the Bolshevist administration, the Polish Government 


and its army on the contrary were obstinately resolved to prevent 
the Lithuanians from occupying that town and those territories. 
Even at the time of the disorderly retreat of the Polish armies 
before the Bolsheviks, any forward movement of the Lithuanian 
army encountered the resistance of Polish forces. The consequence 
of this attitude was that the consent of the Polish Command to 
the occupation of Vilna by the Lithuanians was obtained only 
when the Bolsheviks had already occupied that town, With the 
object of retarding the occupation of Vilna by the Lithuanian 
troops, an action was also provoked at Vievis by the Polish army 
which attacked a military train transporting armoured motor-cars. 

3. Notwithstanding the Bolshevik successes, the Lithuanian 
Government and its army made every effort to free Lithuanian 
territory, while threatening the Bolsheviks. 

4. Considering that at the time of the gravest Polish military 
reverses, the Lithuanian Government and Command refrained 
from opening negotiations with the Bolsheviks regarding co-ordina- 
tion of their operations against the Poles, one can only deem 
ridiculous the Polish assertion relative to the concentration of 
Bolshevist forces in the rear of the Lithuanian army* as well as 
the co-operation of the Lithuanian and Bolshevik armies at the 
moment of the failure of the latter. This assertion is contrary to 
the truth and common sense. 

5. Faithful to their declaration of strict neutrality, the Lithuanian 
Government and Command issued a series of orders relative to the 
prohibition of no matter what military force from penetrating into 
Lithuanian territory, not hesitating to disarm and intern the 
Bolsheviks, which actually took place, and at the same time trans- 
mitting the settlement of the Polish-Lithuanian conflict to diplo- 
matic negotiations and to the League of Nations. 

6. The occupation of Suvalki by the Lithuanian armies was 
decided on in the wake of urgent and repeated demands from the 
local population imploring succour from the horrors of the Bol- 
shevist administration. 

7. Notwithstanding many proposals from the Lithuanian Govern- 
ment regarding a peaceful settlement of mutual relations, the 
Polish Government preferred a settlement of this question by arms 
and was the first to begin military operations from August 28th 
to August 30th. 

8. As regards the negotiations which had just opened, the Polish 
Government raised a series of obstacles to them which, on the one 
hand, showed clearly the insincerity of its desire to reach a pacific 
settlement and, on the other, denoted a tendency to delay matters 
with the object of putting its secret projects into execution. This 
manoeuvre is confirmed by facts. While peace negotiations were 
taking place at Suvalki, Polish attacks were launched in the region 
of Orany with the evident object of occupying the railway junction 
and preventing the transfer of our troops from Suvalki to Vilna* 


In occupying Orany the Poles attained their object, after 
which the negotiations at Suvalki developed with more success. 
In order to have their hands free in the region of Orany, the 
Poles consented to suspend military operations only to the west 
of the Niemen. As soon as their end was attained and the Orany 
station was in their hands, they consented to conclude a suspension 
of hostilities in the region of Orany, but only as far as the meridian 
of Poturtche, leaving the region to the south of Vilna exempt from 
all obligation, and clumsily ascribing their refusal to complete 
ignorance as to the whereabouts of our forces and those of the 
Bolsheviks, It is useless to insist on the absurdity of such an 
explanation. How indeed could one suppose that the victorious 
Polish Command did not know what troops were before it ? The 
object was perfectly clear ; by drawing away in the region of 
Orany our troops on the march from Suvalki to VUna for the 
purpose of defending that city, the Poles facilitated the occupation 
of Vilna for the so-called rebel troops. 

0. The negotiations of the Allied Delegation, which had left 
Vilna on October 6th, and the reply of the Polish Command, clearly 
show the nature of the ** chivalrous conduct " of the rebel General 
who did not scruple to employ any means to dissimulate his real 
" noble intentions." 

At the same tune let us not forget that through the intermediary 
of the English Colonel Ward, the Polish Minister for Foreign Affairs, 
Sapieha, solemnly affirmed that the Poles did not even think of 
occupying Vilna. 

On October 7th at Suvalki was signed the agreement regarding 
the establishment of the line of demarcation, and the same day 
the Poles attacked Vilna. 

10. From the attached statements of officers of the General Staff 
of General Zehgowski's Army l it is clearly disclosed that Zeligowski 
was never for a single instant a " rebel " General, and that every- 
thing was and is directed from Warsaw. 


The Chief of the Organization Section of the General Staff of the 
Army of General Zeligowski, Lieutenant Grodski, deposed as 
follows ; 

JL On October 1-2, 1920, a conference took place at Grodno 
in the train of Marshal PILSUDSKI, at which were present Generals 
Colonel KOTZ, officers of the General Staff, including Lieutenant 

1 Captain Buczynski, Chief of Armament Section ; Captain Engineer 
Javorsky, lieutenant Slovikovski, Attache" to the Commissariat Bureau ; 
I4eutenant Edmund Gegendorf Grodski, Chief of Organization Section 
(who fled from the Polish army of General Zeligowski for political 


GRODSKI. At this meeting a plan drafted by Colonel Korz, Chief 
of the Volunteer Division, was finally adopted for the occupation 
of Vilna, and General ZELJGOWSKI was appointed to direct the 
operation instead of General ZHANTKOVSKI, who had been proposed. 
The composition of troops assigned for the occupation of Vilna was 
as follows : 1st and 3rd Divisions of Legionaries, 1st and 2nd 
Lithuanian- White Russian Divisions, the Volunteer Division of 
Colonel KOTZ, a total of five Divisions of Infantry with a corre- 
sponding quantity of Cavalry and Artillery. At this time negotia- 
tions were proceeding at Suvalki between the Lithuanians and 
Poles on the suspension of military operations and the establishment 
of a demarcation line. 

2. On October 6, 1920, Marshal PILSUDSKI near I4da carried 
out an inspection of the troops assigned for the occupation of Vilna. 
On that day the Poles began an offensive along the Lida- Vilna 

3. After the Geneva Conference on the Polish-Lithuanian ques- 
tion, where the subject of disarming General ZELIGOWSKI'S troops 
was raised, the following plan was drafted. To save himself from 
disarmament, General ZELIGOWSKI with a division would ostensibly 
flee to Kovno. Two divisions assigned for his disarmament would 
march on his flanks. On General ZKLIGOWSKI'S arrival at Kovno, 
however, he would overthrow the Lithuanian Government, while 
the divisions assigned for his disarmament would go over to Ms side. 

4. On the third day following the occupation of Vilna, electric 
generators with munitions and arms for General ZELIGOWSKI'S 
army arrived in the town. In order to conceal the carriage of these 
munitions to the warehouses from the observation of the French 
officers attached to General ZELIGOWSKI'S army, the General Staff 
appropriated a large sum of money for a dinner in the Hotel St. 
George to the foreign officers, which was given. During this dinner 
all the munitions and arms were conveyed on carts and motor-cars 
to the Schmidt factory. 

5. Subsequently, the task of rationing General ZELIGOWSKI'S 
army and supplying it with ammunition and clothing was effected 
in the following manner : In order to conceal transport from the 
observation of the Control Commission everything was conveyed 
from Central Poland in trains* Before reaching Lida everything 
was unloaded from the trains and carried in carts and motors, past 
Lida, to Bemakone and Vilna. 

6. In December and January, ZELIGOWSKI'S army was re-armed 
with French rifles and machine-guns brought from Warsaw. 

7. The Information Bureau of General ZELIGOWSKI'S army 
derives its financial resources direct from the Information Bureau 
of the General Staff in Warsaw. 

Officer GRODSKI gave his deposition on April 14, 1921, in Kovno, 
in the presence of the Minister of War, Professor SJMKUS, the 


ex-Minister of War, Colonel 2uKAS, Colonel KLE&NSKAS of the 
General Staff, and General KATCHE, Chief of the Officers' Course. 

Analogous depositions were given by the Chief of the Armament 
Section of Zeligowski's General Staff, Captain Buczynski, his 
assistant Engineer-Captain Javorski, and Chief of the Commissariat 
Section, Lieutenant SlovikovsM. 


Statement of the Polish Officer, Lieutenant Edmund 
Gegendorf Grodski. 

On April 8, 1921, 1 went over to the Lithuanian army -with some 
comrades of the army of ZeligowsM (which is only a part of the 
Polish regular army), the Chief of the Armament Section, Captain 
Buczynski, Captain-Engineer Javorski, and the Attach^ to the Com- 
missariat Bureau, Lieutenant SlovikovsM. Being in Lithuanian 
territory I wish to furnish absolutely authentic information on the 
organization of the P.O.W. operating in Lithuania. I know from a 
certain source that the centre of this organization is at Warsaw, and 
that at its head is Section No. 2 of Information of the Polish General 
Headquarters, the chief of which is Lieut.-Colonel Matczynski, 
The latter's substitute, Major Kieszkowski, is the Commander-in- 
Chief of the entire P.O.W. organization. This organization is 
directly connected with the 2nd Information Section, which in its 
turn is subordinated to the Chief of the General Staff, The P.O.W. 
organization possesses at Vilna its sections P.P.S. and P.O.W., 
equally directed by the 2nd Section of Warsaw. The Chief of the 
2nd Section of Vilna is Major Koscialkowski, ex-Commander of the 
Sharpshooters of the Niemen. At Kovno it is an old Starosta 
of the Troki district, Lieutenant Staniewicz, who is entrusted with 
the organization of the P.O.W. To the direction of Staniewicz 
are confided the sharpshooters of the Niemen and the " bojowki " 
(a preparatory fighting organization in Lithuania). At the head 
of each bojowka is a Polish officer. At Kovno there are 100 members 
of these bojowki, of whom none is inferior to the rank of non- 
commissioned officer. All these men have done their six or seven 
years of gymnasium, and have followed special courses of military- 
instruction. The chief of these bojowki at Kovno is an ex-officer 
of the Russian army, Antzierovitch. As for the Commander of 
the Sharpshooters of the Niemen, he is a Lieutenant of the name 
of Staniewicz. This organization is divided into local eomman- 
datures, and into " obwody " (districts). The names of the com- 
manders of these obwody are not known to me, nor the division 
of these districts. With reference to the opinion of the Polish 
Government on Lithuania, I can affirm that it has been decided 
to overthrow by all possible means the Government of Kovno, 


and it is to this end that it is deemed necessary to give a solid 
organization to the P.O.W. Important funds are actually devoted 
to this end ; an unlimited credit exempt from all control is 
guaranteed ; also to the chiefs of the bojowki. The entire organi- 
zation is directed by Lieut .-Colonel Matczynski, who has at his 
disposal unlimited credits, which he transfers to Major Kieszkowski, 
who in his turn sends money by couriers to the chiefs of the bojowki. 
The Chief of the 2nd Section proposes to unite all the organizations, 
i.e. the P.O.W. and the P.P.S., Ordodzeme (Renaissance) and 
Straz Kresowa (Guard of the Borders), into a single " organization 
of the Niemen." 1 cannot, however, say whether this project has 
been realized. All the other officers confirm these allegations. 
The signatures follow. 


The enquiry was conducted by Captain Uzupis, 
Kovno, April 13, 1921. 

Deposition of Captain Buczynski, 

I, To the question regarding the original armament of the 
Zehgowski army and the renewal of the same, he replied : 

After the occupation of Vilna by General Zeligowski's army, all 
the regiments of that General were armed in the most defective 
and heterogeneous manner. Machine-guns were completely lacking 
and there could be no question even of establishing uniformity of 
armament. I was appointed Chief of the Armament Section the 
fourth day after the occupation of Vilna, and from that moment 
I had no other concern than to improve the equipment of the entire 
army of ZeligowsM as speedily as possible. 

Nevertheless, the engagements in progress did not permit me to 
realize my project. It was in the second half of January that 

1 completed the effective equipment, with the help of the Director 
of the Arsenal, Engineer Javorski. At present, each infantry 
regiment of General Zeligowski possesses 30 French " Hotehkiss " 
machine-guns, and 20 to 24 automatic rifles of "Chassau" 
pattern. As regards the rifle regiments 5 and 9, they are armed 
with rifles of the French system. 

Artillery. 72 Russian light guns of 3 cm., 8 French long-range 
pieces of 185 mm., 8 heavy mortars of 105 mm., 5 Russian pieces 
of 48 lines (i.e. 4 in.). 

Cavalry. The cavalry regiments are armed with hand carbines 
of various systems ; as regards machine-guns, each squadron has 

2 light ones ; the 6th squadron has 8 heavy ones of Schwerlass 


The rear-guard detachments and communications, as also the 
female legion, are armed with French carbines. The residue which 
remained after this transformation was sent to Warsaw. 

II. To question No. 2 he replied : I know that the project for 
the occupation of Vilna and the creation of a Central Lithuania 
was conceived in the Siedlec market town in the environs of Warsaw 
at the moment when the Polish army repulsed the Bolsheviks 
under the walls of the capital. Marshal Pilsudski, with his new 
General Staff, was at Siedlec at this time. The original plan of 
appointing General Zhantkovski head of Central Lithuania was 
abandoned on the arrival of Marshal Pilsudski at Grodno, from 
Lida, owing to the origin of General Zhantkovski, born in Poland, 
and not in Lithuania. 

I assisted at the meeting of officers summoned to Marshal Pilsudski 
to receive explanations regarding the relations of this newly-created 
Central Lithuania with Poland. 

III. Money and armament (arms and munitions) arrived in 
Central Lithuania solely from Warsaw. All settlements of accounts 
were effected direct with the Ministry of Military Affairs of Warsaw. 

IV. As far as I know, Poland did not send new recruits to Central 
Lithuania. On the contrary, the reserve battalions of Division I, 
L.B., viz. of Novogrodek (previously in garrison at Vlotslavek), 
of Grodno (stationed formerly at Czenstochova), of Minsk (stationed 
at Plock), lastly of Vilna (stationed at Skierniewice), were com- 
posed each of 1,500 men furnished by mobilization throughout the 
territory of Poland. The soldiers belonging to these battalions 
were distributed among the various regiments. 

Independently of the aforesaid forces, two recruiting offices 
functioned permanently at Warsaw, those of Captain Perhawiez 
and Captain Kucharzewski, whose object was to discover officers 
and men who were natives of Central Lithuania. 



Statement by Captain Javorski. 

No. 4. 

The following reply was given in answer to the question, whence 
came the funds devoted to the organization and maintenance of 
Zeligowski's army : 

The Paymaster's Office attached to the General Staff Arma- 
ment Section of Zeligowski's army was directly connected with the 
Armament Section of the Warsaw High Command. Similarly, 
the funds for the arsenal and munitions factory of Zeligowski's 
army were obtained from Warsaw. 

The payments were approved by the Armament Section at 
Warsaw (General Gliniecki, of the Headquarters Staff). 


Finally, General Norwid, ex-Quartermaster-General, was the 
chief administrator of Central Lithuanian affairs in Poland. 


Statement by 2nd Lieutenant Sloyikorski. 

No. 5. 

The following reply was given in answer to the question as to 
whence came the funds devoted to the organization and main- 
tenance of General Zeligowski's army : 

-The money was sent from the Ministry of War at Warsaw, 

The supplies were partly provided by the Commissariat of the 
Second Army at Lida, but not entirely, as some of the supplies 
and forage were obtained from the local population in return for 
ready-money, and also by means of agreements with contractors 
who imported them from the " Kingdom " (Poland), Germany 
and America. 

Uniforms were furnished by the Commissariat of the Second 
Army at Lida. They were partly made at newly-built factories 
at Vilna. The cloth came from the town of Lodz. 


No. 6. 
Warsaw D.CXG. 

General District Command, 

February 9, 1921 
Secret Order No. 20. 

[2) Treatment of soldiers belonging to the Lithuanian-White-Russian 


Supplementary to Order, it is commanded, in virtue 
>f the Commander-in-Chief s order, and is proclaimed to all soldiers 
ient back from General Zeligowski's army for various reasons, 
,hat the Lithuanian- White-Russian Divisions are placed under the 
orders of the Commander-in-Chief of the Polish army by the same 
ight as all the other divisions of this army, 


Telegram from Colonel Chardigny, President of the Military 
Control Commission to the Council of the League of Nations. 
Colonel Chardigny to the Council) 
War Paris. 

To. 15, For the League of Nations. 

As the results of events at Vilna, the Commission begs to forward 
y telegram, for your information, statements made by the Minister 


for Foreign Affairs at Warsaw on the 3rd, and by the Marshal 
Commanding-in-Chief at Bialystok on the 4th, contained in its 
report No. 1, dated October 5th. The Minister definitely declared 
that the Government would not cause Vilna to be occupied, and 
expressed himself m favour of a settlement of the frontier dispute 
between the two countries by a plebiscite of a summary and speedy 
nature. The Marshal also assured the Commission that a march 
against Vilna was not intended, but that he could not answer for 
his troops in the event of provocation by the Lithuanians. He 
declared that a division composed of officers and soldiers from the 
Vilna district is operating in the Lida district, and that the feelings 
of these troops might lead them on to unforeseen a?cts ; he added 
that if he were not Chief of the State, he would, as a soldier, have 
occupied the town a week ago. 



Adaptation of Russian law, 142 
Aestian origin of Lithuanian race, 

37, 38-9, 40 

Agrarian law, operation of, 132 
Agrarian reform, 129 

central office of, 130 
Agreement of Suvalki, 207 
Agricultural exports, 125 
Agricultural holdings, area of, 127 
Agricultural societies, 74 
Agricultural statistics, 124 
Agriculture, Department of, 131 
Agriculture, Ministry of, 128 
Algird threatens Moscow, 15 
AlKes' treatment of Lithuania, 115 
Altitude of Lithuanian mil ranges, 


Amber industry, 133 
Analogies of language with Latin, 


Ancestor worship, 170 
Animals, statistics of, 125 
Appeal Court, formation of, 142 
Ardvila, Grand Duke, 41 

of forests, 30 

ef Lithuania, present, 17, 20, 123 

under cultivation, 30 
Assembly, Constituent, election of, 


secret, 62 

student, 64 

Bait, or Aestian origins of race, 37, 

Baltic languages, 173 
Banks, 137, 138 
Basanavi&ius, Dr,, 65-7 
Battle of Vorksla, 1399, 45 
Berne Conference, 1915, 86 
Birut, vestal virgin, 43 
Bolshevik advance on Lithuania, 

* 17, 93 
Bolshevik occupation of Vilnius, 99- 


Bolshevik propaganda, its ineffec- 
tiveness, 95 

Books, output of, 72 
Building materials, 128 
Buildings, arrangement of, 153-4 

Calvinism, rise and fall of, in 

Lithuania, 51 

Catholic Church, oppression of, 69 
Catholic renascence, 52 
Character of people, 145-152 
Chaucer, reference to Lithuania, 


coming of, 50 

under Gedixmnas, 42 

decoration of, 191-2 

destruction of, 77 
Cities, principal, pre-war population 

of, 124 

Ciurhonis, musical composer, 185-8 
Climate of the country, 33 
Code JN"apole*on, 60 
Codes, civil and criminal, 144 
CoifEure, Lithuanian, 160 
Committee, central, "Lithuania," 

Committee, Lithuanian, for war 

refugees, 79 

Communism, unpopularity of, 96 
Conference of Berne, 1915, 86 
Conference of St. Petersburg, 90 
Conference of Stockholm, 1918, 91 

by Germans, 82 

by Russians, 75 
Congress of Vilnius, 1905, 67 
Constituent Assembly, election of, 


Convention of Vilnius, 1917, 16 
Co -operative Societies, 138 
Council, National 

election of, 91 

formed, 89 

Crime, diminution of, 144 
Crops, principal, grown, 124 
Cultivation, systems of, 73 
Currency, 122, 135, 139 
Customs of people, 160 



Dainos, or national songs, 146 

Dairy farming, 126 

Dancing in Lithuania, 161 

Debt, foreign, 136 

Demarcation lines violated by 

Poles, 93, 111 

Christian, 94 

Social, 95 

Department of Agriculture, 131 
Deportations of population during 

war, 75, 78 

Devastations caused by war, 74-6 
Dialects of the language, 173 
Dioceses, XVIth century, 49 
Diseases caused by war, 78 
Divinities, pagan, 166 
Dreams, belief in, 172 

festival, 157 

Lithuanian national, 157-160 
Drought of 1921, 126 

Economic development. 173 
Edict of 1894, secret Russian, 56 

in the Constituent Assembly, 94 

statistics of, 69 

under Russian rule, 56, 57 
Election of Constituent Assembly, 


Election, Polish, in Vilnius, 111 
Embroidery, prevalence of, 159 
Ethnographic limits of Lithuania, 20 
Export statistics, 134 
Exports, agricultural, 125 

Farms, number of, 131 

Festival dress, 157 

Finance, 135 

Fine Arts, Society of, 72-3 

Finns, influence of, 39 

Fire worship, 164, 169 

Fiscal policy, 122 

Flax weaving industry, 132 

Food products, manufacture of, 132 

Foreign debt, 136 


depletion of, 128 

of the country, 127-8 
Fortresses of Kaunas, etc., 75 
Frontier line fixed, 111 
Funerals, 170 


climate of, 34 

province of, 31 

Gediminas, Grand Duke, 41-2 
Geology of Lithuania, 3<J 

German administration, 80-1 
German claims in regard to Memel, 

German confiscations of property, 


German headquarters at Vilnius, 81 
German language made compulsory, 


German newspapers, 83 
Gorman occupation of Lithuania, 

German recognition of Lithuania, 


Giants, legends of, 171 
Grand Duke Rimgaudas, the first, 


Grand Dukes of Lithuania, 41-7 
Grodski, Lieutenant, of Zeligowski's 

staff, 218 
statement by, 218 

Headgear in Lithuania, 157 
Hills, ranges of, 34 

building materials used in, 128 

construction of, 154 


attempted, 1655, 53 
proclamation of, 17, 92 

ratified, 94 

of the country, 132 
peasant, 133 
Iron foundry of Kaunas, Tillman, 


Iron, use of in early times, 40 
Isenburg, Prince, German Adminis- 
trator, 81, 84 


attempts conquest, 44 
made King of Poland, 44 
JanuseviSius demands independ- 
ence, 86 
Jewish Co-operative Bank, central, 

Jewish preference for Lithuanian 

Government, 104 
Jews, centred at Plunge*, 28 
Jury, trial by, 143 

captured in 1352, 43 
climate of province, 33 
province of, 26 
town of, 27 

Keistutis, Grand Duke, 43 
Vrncas, poet, 66 



Lakes, 30, 35 

appropriation of by State, 129 

area of holdings, 127 

distribution of, 61, 129-30, 131 

peasant holdings of, 73 

seizure of, 60 

dialects of, 173 

Latin analogies, 174 

origin of, 37, 173-182 

records of, 25, 30, 37-8 

suppressed by Russian order, 57 
Lausanne, Lithuanian representa- 
tives at, 87 

administration of, 59, 141-4 

Russian, adaptation of, 142 
League of Nations, intervention by, 


Legal codes in use, 59, 60 

of the country, 171 

of giants, 171 

Lettish separation from Lithu- 
anians, 39 
Literature, 183 
"Lithuania" Central Committee, 

** Lithuania Day " organized in 

U.S.A., 79 

Lithuania Major and Minor, dis- 
tinction between, 20 
Lithuania Minor, record of, 32 
Livestock of the country, statistics, 

125, 126 

internal, 137 

" Liberty Loan," 137 
Lublin Union, effects of, 52 
Lyda, town of, 26 

Manufactures, 132 
Marriage ceremonies, 161 

administered by French, 120 

area of, 117 

district of, 117 

German claims regarding, 117 

Germanized, 120 

Lithuanian in character, 117, 

particulars of, 32 
Memorandum of Vilnius, 1905, 67 
Mindaugas, Grand Duke, 41 
Mineral resources of the country, 


Mineral springs, 134 
Monasteries, suppression of, 60 


Lithuanian Society in, 71 

threatened by Algird, 15 

persecutions by, 58 

retards progress of Lithuania, 89 

Russian Governor, 58 
Musical character of the Lithu- 
anians, 146, 151, 192 
Musical composers, 185, 193-4 
Mythology, influences on Lithu- 
anian, 172 

Name of the country, first use of, 40 
Napoteon, Code, 60 
Napoleon signs treaty of Tilsit, 33 
Naroushevitch, Mr., statement by, 

National Council 

election of, 91 

formed, 89 

National Hymn, Lithuanian* 195 
Nemunas, river, 34, 141 

affluents of, 35 
Newspapers, 71 

German, 83 

Odessa taken by Vytautas, 45 
Origin of Lithuanian race, Aestian, 

Ost currency, 122, 135 

Pagan customs, 163-172 

Pagan sanctuaries destroyed, 44 

Painters, Lithuanian, 189 

Palanga, port of, 28, 29 

Peace Treaty with Russia, 1920, 98 

Peat, use of, 128 

Percentage of different races in 
Lithuania, 17, 21, 124 

Periodicals, revolutionary, 62 

Philology, Lithuanian, 37 

Pilsudski directing Zeligowski, 106 

Plays, performance of, 72 


association with, 17, 32 
partition of, 1793-5, 53 

Polish election in Vilnius, 111 

Pohsh-Iathuanian conflict, diary of, 

Polish occupation of Vilnius, 17 

Polish offensive launched, 102 

Polish pogrom in Vilnius, 112 

Polish treacherous attack on Lithu- 
anians, 99 

Polish violations of luxe of demarca- 
tion, 93, 111 

Population statistics, 17, 20, 123 
pre-war, 124 



Poets, principal Lithuanian, 183-4 
Police agents, Russian, 72 
Policy, fiscal, 122 
Pope contributes to Lithuanian 

relief, 80 

Ports of Palanga and Sventoji, 28 
Press of the country, 71 
Prices of various commodities, 126 
Priests, pagan, 164 
Primitive cottages of Lithuania, 156 
Primitive religion of the country, 

Proclamation of Independence, 17, 


Badvila Family, home of, 28 
Radvda, Nicolai (the Black), 52 
Badvila, Nicolas-Christopher, 52 
Railways, 140 

Ratification of independence, 94 
Becogmtion dejure denied, 113 

by Germany, 92 

by U.S A , 19 
Reform, Agrarian, 129 

central office of, 130 
Relief, measures for, in war, 79-80 
Behgious degeneration, 49-50 
Religious history, 49, 163-72 
Religious reform, 50-1 
Religious temperament of Lithu- 
anians, 151 

Rimgaudas, first Grand Duke, 41 

advance of 1914-5, 75-6 

appropriates provinces of Lithu- 
ania, 53 

revolt against, by Lithuanians, 

tyranny of, 55-61, 74 
Russian deportations during war, 75 
Russian edict of 1894, secret, 56 
Russian law, adaptation of, 142 
Russian police agents, 62 
Russian Proclamation of Freedom, 


Russian requisitions during war, 75 
Russian schools in Lithuania, 56-7 
Russo-Lithuanian Peace Treaty, 17 


closed by Russian order, 56 
opened by educational societies, 

Russian, in Lithuania, 57 

Sculptors, Lithuanian, 190 

Secret associations, 62 

Secret Russian edict of 1894, 56 

Social democrats, 95 

Social Populists, 95 


agricultural, 74 

co-operative, 138 

Lithuanian, m Moscow, 71 

of Fine Arts, 72-3 
j, folk 

of Lithuania, 146, 151, 192 

of the poet Kudirka, 66 
Speech, suppression of Lithuanian, 


State Council, formation of, 93 

agricultural, 124 

educational, 69 

industry, 132 

trade, 134 

Stockholm, Conference of, 1918, 91 
Student associations, 64 
Superstitions of the country, 151 

agreement of, 17, 207 

climate of, 33 
province of, 30 
Sventoji, port of, 28, 29, 30 

Tartars influenced by Lithuania, 45 

Taryba proclaims independence, 92 

Taxation, 127, 135 

Telepathic phenomena, sensitive- 
ness to, 170 

Temperament, Lithuanian, 147 

Temperance work, 70 

Teutonic Order, struggles with the, 

Tilsit, Treaty of, 33 

Timber, 127-8 
rafting, 141 

Topography of the country, 20 

Towns, principal, 21-32 

Trade statistics, 134 

U.S A. 

Lithuanians in, 85 

organizes "Lithuania Day," 79 
University of Vilnius closed, 56 

Vestal virgin, Birute", 43 
Villages destroyed by war, 77 

area of province, 21 

as German headquarters, 81 

Bolshevik occupation of, 99-100 

climate of province, 33 

Congress of, 69 

Diet of, 1905, 85 

evacuation of, 93 

fire worship at, 105 

history of town, 21-25 



Vilnius (contintted) 

memorandum of, 1905, 67 

Polish election in, 111 

Polish pogrom in, 112 

seat of Lithuanian Government, 

university closed, 56 

university of, 88 
Vitenis, Grand Duke, 41 

ceded Memel, 32 

defeated by Tartars, 45 

extension of Lithuania under, 45 

reign of, 44-6 

restored ports of the country, 


devastations caused by, 74-6 
Lithuania duiing the, 75-9 
refugees, Lithuanian Committee 
for, 79 

Waterfalls, 134 
Watershed of Lithuania, 34 
Waterways, 141 

flax fibre, 132 

peasant, 133 
Women and national development, 


Wood, use of, for building, 128 
Writers, Lithuanian, 145 


captures Vilnius, 17 

establishes Central Lithuanian 
Government, 103 

instigated by PoHsh Govern- 
ment, 106 

organization staff, statement, 

proclamation defining Govern- 
ment, 105 

supplied from Warsaw, 106